Sep 7, 2013
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VALPARAISO, Ind. — University of Iowa volleyball (5-0) remains undefeated following a 3-1 victory over Eastern Michigan (3-4) in its first match of the day at the Valpo Popcorn Classic. It was a combined team effort with a trio reaching double figures in kills and four posting double digit numbers in digs.
The Hawkeyes were led by Alex Lovell who posted her fourth consecutive double-double. The junior outside hitter paced the team in kills with 16 and was second in digs with 13. Erin Radke and Alessandra Dietz contributed 13 and 11 digs, respectively. Radke’s 13 kills and .435 hitting percentage marked 2013 season-highs.
Iowa showed off its ability to extend points throughout the match, with senior libero Bethany Yeager leading the way with an 18 dig effort. Lovell followed with 13 digs, while Kari Mueller came off the bench to tally 12 digs. Adding 11 to the team’s digs total was setter Nikki Dailey, who also paced the Hawkeyes in assists with 23.
In set one, Iowa used a trio of Radke kills to jump out to a 5-2 lead and continued to possess the momentum leading by as much as 10 points. With the score 18-8 in favor of the Hawkeyes, the Eagles surged back outscoring Iowa 16-6 to make it 24 all. An attack error followed by a Radke kill gave the Hawks set one, 26-24.
Radke opened the second set with a kill and the Hawkeyes continued to control the match. A four-point run, highlighted by a Rachael Bedell and Erin Leppek block, a Leppek ace, and a Dietz kill, put Iowa ahead. With the Hawkeyes up 12-9, a pair of 2-0 and 3-0 runs helped Eastern Michigan take a 19-15 advantage. Iowa held the Eagle offense to one point for the remainder of the set and used a 10-point run to earn the set two comeback win, 25-20.
Eastern Michigan opened the third set with a run and never surrendered its lead for the remainder of the set. The Eagles withstood a Hawkeye rally, which included six additional Lovell kills, to take the set 25-19.
Iowa used a Dietz kill to establish a lead in the fourth set and never looked back recording the 25-17 final set win. Radke finished with four kills and hit .800 in the final set, while Julianne Blomberg and Lovell each added three kills hitting .286.
Iowa volleyball wraps up play at the Valpo Popcorn Classic tonight with a 7 p.m. CT match against tournament host Valparaiso. Gametracker is available for the match at hawkeyesports.com and fans can watch the match for free at valpoathletics.com/volleyball/schedule/.