Aug 31, 2013
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CONWAY, S.C. — After dropping the opening set to opponent Youngstown State (1-1) on Saturday afternoon, the Hawkeye volleyball team fought back to earn its second five-set match win in a row. Iowa moves to 2-0 on the season.
Youngstown State posted a .353 attack percentage in set one to take a 1-0 lead over the Hawkeyes 25-20 before Iowa responded with a dominating 25-16 set two win.
Back-to-back kills from middle Alessandra Dietz and outside hitter Alex Lovell to open the set gave the Hawkeyes early momentum, which they sustained throughout to secure the set equalizer. Lovell awakened in the set tallying seven of her total kills, while Dietz added a total of five.
The Hawkeyes and Penguins battled through a back and forth third set that included 18 ties and eight lead changes. With the set tied up at 23, Youngstown State used a two-point run to establish a 2-1 lead.
Following a Lovell kill that put Iowa up 2-1 in the fourth set, the Hawkeyes held the Penguins at bay never surrendering their lead to force a fifth set. Lovell led Iowa to the 25-18 win compiling eight kills, including the final three to close out the set.
After falling behind 1-0, Iowa used two Lovell kills and a pair of combo blocks from Lovell and Erin Leppek and Alli O’Deen and Leppek to regain control of the match-deciding set 4-1. The Hawkeyes held off the Penguin comeback effort and used another four-point run to pull ahead 11-6. Dietz provided the final three kills of the match to secure the set 15-11 and the second win of the season for the Hawkeyes.
Lovell’s 26 kill performance bested her previous career-high of 24 that she accomplished at Purdue on Oct. 6, 2012.
“I’m really proud of Alex (Lovell) because she really struggled last night,” head coach Sharon Dingman said. “It’s going to be a long season for her because a lot of teams are going to make her really play some volleyball.”
“She’s our busiest player, and I’m just really proud of how she played today after last night. She was the hot hitter and our setters did a great job of getting her the ball.”
Dietz also recorded a career-high in kills for the second consecutive match with a total of 19.
“Again, Alessandra (Dietz) is just really competitive,” Dingman said. “She wants to win every point, every set and every match so she plays like that. I think it’s starting to seep through our team.”
Four Hawkeyes reached double digits in digs including Bethany Yeager (30), Nikki Dailey (17), Alyssa Klostermann (14) and Lovell (10). Dailey paced the team in assists with 37, while Klostermann added a career-high 19.
Dailey and Klostermann recorded their first double-doubles of the season in assists and digs, while Lovell accomplished a double-double in kills and digs.
The Hawkeyes play their second match of the day against the Chanticleer Invitational host Coastal Carolina. First serve is slated for 6 p.m. CT. Fans can view the game live for free at bigsouthsports.com/schedule. Livestats are also available on hawkeyesports.com.