Hawkeyes Fall Short of Upset, Michigan wins 3-2


Nov. 5, 2011

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IOWA CITY, Iowa – The University of Iowa volleyball team fell just short of upsetting No. 23 Michigan tonight in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Michigan rallied from a 2-1 set deficit to steal the 3-2 win from the Hawkeyes (25-16, 18-25, 21-25, 25-22, 15-9). Iowa had three players earn double-doubles, five players reach double-digit digs, and four players reach double-digit kills in the loss.

“It’s disappointing,” said head coach Sharon Dingman. “We didn’t execute very well in the fifth set. We didn’t pass very well and we couldn’t kill the ball. I thought Michigan, in that fourth set, figured out our attack. I think they had 40 digs in that fourth set. But I’m super proud of how we competed tonight. It feels good to go five sets. Michigan is a great team and Alex Hunt is one of the best players in the conference. She knew how to get it done in the fifth set.”

Hunt, a 2010 All-American, led all players with 23 kills, including six kills in the final frame. She added 11 digs and three total blocks.

Senior Mallory Husz led Iowa with 15 kills and six blocks. Freshman Emily Yanny added 10 kills and a career high nine blocks. Seniors Tiffany Nilges and Megan Eskew both earned a double-doubles, recording 10 kills and 19 digs each. Nikki Dailey earned her team leading 11th double-double with 51 assists and 15 digs. Bethany Yeager also picked up 19 digs for the Hawkeyes.

Michigan won the opening frame, 25-16, with the help of a 12-5 run. The Hawkeyes trailed early, 19-10, before a kill-block combo from Yanny and two kills from Lovell halted the Michigan run and fought off three Wolverine set points. Michigan’s Jennifer Cross then ended the Hawkeye rally with a kill to end the set. Yanny finished the frame with a .500 hitting percentage and a set-high of five kills.

The Hawkeyes came out hot in the second set and tied the match 1-1 with a 25-18 win. Tied at four, Iowa used two kills from Lovell and a combo-block from Husz and Lovell to go on a 5-2 run. Another block from Husz sparked a 6-1 run that advanced the Hawkeye lead, 23-14. The Wolverines answered with a 3-0 run, but the Hawkeyes proved to be too much and ended the frame on a block from Yanny.

Iowa continued the momentum into the third frame en route to the 25-21 victory. The Hawkeyes built an early 4-1 lead behind a Yanny kill and combo-block from Husz and Nilges. Tied at 16, Iowa went on a 5-0 run that included two kills from Husz to take the lead 21-16. Three consecutive Michigan errors helped the Hawkeyes cruise to set point, 24-21. Husz then put down the last kill to seal the set victory.

The Wolverines tie the match, 2-2, with a 25-22 win in the fourth frame. It proved to be a back-and-forth battle that included eight ties and five lead changes. The Hawkeyes trailed 13-9 before going on an 8-3 run to take their first lead of the set, 17-16. Tied at 19, Michigan used a 6-3 run to reclaim the lead and win the frame.

Michigan clinched the match with a 15-9 win in the fifth set. The Wolverines came out with a 7-2 run. The Hawkeyes battled back with a 4-1 run to pull within two, 11-9 before Michigan pulled away with four straight points to earn the win.

The Hawkeyes return to action Nov. 10 to face No. 10 Purdue in West Lafayette, Ind. The Hawkeyes and Boilermakers will play at 6 p.m.

Michigan vs. Iowa 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
Michigan (17-9, 5-9) 25 18 21 25 15
Iowa (11-16, 1-13) 16 25 25 22 9

Statistical Leaders
Kills: Mallory Husz (UI) 15 | Hunt (UM) 23
Assists: Nikki Dailey (UI) 51 | Dannemiller (UM) 54
Digs: Bethany Yeager (UI) 19 | Donhoff (UM) 34