Oct. 19, 2011
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LINCOLN, Neb. — The University of Iowa volleyball team fell to fourth-ranked Nebraska, 3-0, inside the NU Coliseum tonight (25-14, 25-14, 25-11). The match represented the first ever conference meeting in any sport between the two schools.
Chante’ Thompson paced the Hawkeyes’ balanced effort with five kills. Mallory Husz, Tiffany Nilges and Alex Lovell added four kills each. Nikki Dailey dished a team-high 16 assists and Bethany Yeager picked up 14 digs.
“We simply had a tough time scoring points against a very good team,” said head coach Sharon Dingman. “I think if we had stayed closer in the opening set we may have had some confidence to compete better later in the match, but we had a tough go of it during one rotation and we couldn’t recover.”
The Hawkeyes pushed the Huskers out of the locker room, battling to a quick 11-11 tie in the opening frame. Iowa hung right along Nebraska, using a pair of kills from Alex Lovell to pull within a point, 9-8, before tying the frame with consecutive kills from Husz and Nilges. Nebraska then created some distance by answering a John Cook timeout with a 7-0 run. Nilges ended the run with her second kill of the frame, but Nebraska scored seven of the set’s final nine points to earn the 25-14 victory.
Lovell jump started the Iowa offense in the second frame with a kill and a block for Iowa’s first two points, but Nebraska slowly pulled away from the Hawkeyes to win the second set, 25-14.
The Huskers continued to roll in the third frame, opening a 7-0 lead before Thompson and Rachael Bedell sandwiched kills together to close the gap, 11-7. Nebraska answered Iowa’s consecutive kills with a 7-1 and eventually cruised to the 25-11 victory.
“We’ll take some positives from this,” said Dingman. “I thought Alex looked like she was really ready to play. It was nice to see that body language on the road in an environment like this. We also saw some of our other weaknesses exposed, so we’ll address them and we’ll get better.”
With the win, Nebraska improved to 9-0 in the conference and maintained a share of the Big Ten lead with top-ranked Illinois. The Illini topped Northwestern 3-0 tonight in Evanston, Ill. Illinois and Nebraska meet Saturday in Lincoln to fight for sole possession of first place.
Iowa returns to the court Saturday when Northwestern visits Iowa City. The Hawkeyes and Wildcats play at 7 p.m. on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Ian Martin, the voice of Iowa volleyball, will broadcast the match live on AM-800 KXIC and hawkeyesports.com.
|Iowa at No. 4 Nebraska||1st||2nd||3rd|
|Iowa (11-11, 1-8)||14||14||11|
|Nebraska (16-1, 9-0)||25||25||25|
|Kills: Chante’ Thompson (UI) 5 | Mancuso (NU) 14|
|Assists: Nikki Dailey (UI) 16 | Cook (NU) 32|
|Digs: Bethany Yeager (UI) 14 | Werth (NU) 15|