Iowa Tops Syracuse in 5-Set Thriller

Stats | Boxscore

Box Score

AMES, Iowa — The University of Iowa volleyball team defeated Syracuse in five sets on Friday in its opening match of the Iowa State Challenge (16-25, 25-20, 20-25, 25-15, 15-11). The Hawkeyes move to 6-2 on the season. The match was held at Hilton Coliseum on the campus of Iowa State University.

Junior Bethany Yeager led the defense with a team-high 18 digs. She moves to ninth all-time in program history with 1,163 career digs. Junior Nikki Dailey registered her fourth double-double of the season, tallying 35 assists and 11 digs. Four Hawkeyes recorded double-digit kills. Sophomore Alex Lovell led the way with 14 kills and a match-high .350 attack percentage. Junior Chante’ Thompson and sophomore Alessandra Dietz each notched 12 kills and freshman Erin Radke turned in 10. Freshman Julianne Blomberg added four kills and eight digs in her first career match.

The Hawkeyes dropped the opening set, 25-16, for only the second time this season in eight tries. Syracuse (3-5) opened the game with a 7-3 lead and never looked back. The Orange hit .467 while Iowa registered a .194 attack percentage. Radke turned in three kills to lead the Hawkeyes and Yeager notched a set-high four digs.

Iowa evened up the match at 1-1 with a 25-20 second set victory. The Hawkeyes jumped out to a 5-1 lead, forcing a Syracuse timeout. Iowa extended its advantage to 9-3 and led throughout the frame. The Hawkeyes improved their attack percentage, hitting .250 in the set. Dietz led all, registering six kills on seven total attacks. Iowa limited the Orange to a .147 hitting percentage.

Syracuse responded in a back-and-forth third set, taking a 2-1 match advantage with a 25-20 win. The game saw eight ties and four lead changes. The Hawkeyes trailed until taking a 7-6 lead. Iowa played with the lead until falling behind 15-16. The Orange used a 3-1 run to grab a 19-16 advantage. The Hawkeyes answered with a 4-0 run to claim a 20-19 lead. Syracuse closed the frame with six-straight points to win 25-20. The Orange hit .219 in the frame, while Iowa hit .077. Lovell led the Hawkeyes with four kills.

Iowa answered with a 25-15 fourth set victory to even the match at 2-2. Leading 6-5, the Hawkeyes used a 13-2 run to open a big lead they would not relinquish at 19-7. Iowa hit .279 in the frame and limited Syracuse to a .128 attack percentage. Lovell recorded a set-high five kills and Thompson notched four.

The Hawkeyes won the final set, 15-11. Iowa trailed the Orange early, 4-1, before rallying with six-consecutive points to grab a 7-4 advantage. Iowa extended its lead to five at 12-7. A match point kill by Radke finished off Syracuse and gave the Hawkeyes the win in the first ever meeting between the two schools.

Iowa continues action tonight in the Iowa State Challenge against in-state rival Iowa State. The Hawkeyes and 18th-ranked Cyclones will square off at 6:30 p.m. Iowa’s match against Iowa State will mark the second event in this year’s Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series. The Hawkeyes lead the annual series 2-0 after the Iowa soccer team defeated Iowa State, 3-1, in Ames on Aug. 31.

Iowa vs. Syracuse 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
Syracuse (3-5) 25 20 25 15 11
Iowa (6-2) 16 25 20 25 15

Statistical Leaders
Kills: Lovell (IOWA) 14 | Clarey (SU) 19
Assists: Dailey (IOWA) 35 | Betteridge (SU) 49
Digs: Yeager (IOWA) 18 | Guzman (SU) 19