Hawkeyes Sweep Eagles in Tournament Finale

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Box Score

AMES, Iowa — The University of Iowa volleyball team defeated Eastern Washington in straight sets Saturday in its final match of the Iowa State Challenge (25-22, 26-24, 25-18). The Hawkeyes move to 7-3 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 match-high 20 digs. She moves to eighth all-time in program history with 1,199 in her career. Junior Nikki Dailey notched her fourth-straight double-double, and sixth overall. She tallied 33 assists and 10 digs. Sophomore Alex Lovell registered a match-high 17 kills and junior Rachael Bedell added 12. Lovell and Dailey were both named to the all-tournament team, leading Iowa to a 2-1 record and a share of the tournament team title.

“We had to grind this win out today,” said head coach Sharon Dingman. “Yesterday was hard; we played 10 sets of volleyball and five very emotional sets last night. For us to come out to win in three was great. We were happy to go five (sets) last night with Iowa State after being down 2-0, but we wanted to win the tournament. We learned a lot about ourselves. Overall, I am pleased with the weekend. We need to continue to improve as we head towards Big Ten play.”

Iowa jumped out to a 7-2 lead in the opening set to force an Eagle timeout. The Hawkeyes extended their advantage to seven at 12-5. Eastern Washington (0-11) chipped away at the Iowa lead and cut it to two points at 18-16. A 5-2 Hawkeye run pushed Iowa’s advantage to 23-18. The Eagles cut the score to 24-22, before a set point kill by Erin Radke gave the Hawkeyes a 25-22 first set victory. Lovell led all with five kills in the frame.

The two teams went back-and-forth throughout the second set. With the score tied 22-22, back-to-back blocks by Emily Yanny gave Iowa set point at 24-22. Eastern Washington notched the next two points to tie it up at 24-24. Yanny and Lovell then registered consecutive kills, giving the Hawkeyes a 26-24 set victory and a 2-0 match lead. Bedell and Lovell both turned in four kills and Yeager tallied a set-best nine digs.

Trailing 13-11 in the third set, Iowa used a 10-1 run to take a 21-14 lead. The Hawkeyes went on to claim four of the final eight points to win the set, 25-18, and sweep the match. For the third-straight frame, Lovell led Iowa in kills with six. Yeager added a set-high seven digs.

Iowa continues action next weekend in the Marquette Invitational in Milwaukee, Wis. The Hawkeyes conclude nonconference play against Pacific (11 a.m. CT) and Milwaukee (4:30 p.m.) on Friday before facing Marquette on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

Iowa vs. Eastern Washington 1st 2nd 3rd
EWU (0-11) 22 24 18
Iowa (7-3) 25 26 25

Statistical Leaders
Kills: Lovell (IOWA) 17 | Kellerman (EWU) 11
Assists: Dailey (IOWA) 33 | Brown (EWU) 30
Digs: Yeager (IOWA) 20 | Ensrud (EWU) 13