Iowa Volleyball Falls to Northwestern, 3-1

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Nov. 1, 2013

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IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa volleyball team fell to Northwestern, 3-1, in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Friday evening. With the loss, the Hawkeye record drops to 10-13 overall and 1-10 in Big Ten action. The Wildcats move to 14-9 overall and 6-5 in conference play following the win.

“I thought Northwestern came out and played really well,” head coach Sharon Dingman said. “They served well in the third and fourth set. Our passing didn’t respond. They’re 6-5 in the Big Ten; they’re good. I was disappointed at our response. We had to set the ball 40 times to a hitter that was having an off night. I think it goes back to the serve and pass game. That’s where we lost it.”

Iowa and Northwestern grappled back and forth through 12 ties and five lead changes in set one before the Wildcats emerged as the victor winning 25-23. Alessandra Dietz paced the Hawkeye offense with a dominating .857 hitting percentage and six kills on seven attempts. Rachael Bedell followed with five kills.

The Hawkeyes outscored the Wildcats 5-1 to open the second set using a pair of Alex Lovell kills, an Erin Leppek kill, an Alyssa Klostermann service ace, and a Northwestern error to seize the momentum early. It was all Iowa from there, as the Hawkeyes never trailed en route to their 25-16 win.

Iowa used a 6-0 push, courtesy of an Alli O’Deen and Dietz block, a pair of Bedell kills, and two kill from Dietz, to close out the set and even the match at one set apiece. Bedell and Dietz once again led the Hawkeye offense tallying five kills each and hitting .400 and .714, respectively. As a team, Iowa out-hit Northwestern .407 to .156 in the set.

The Wildcats responded by winning set three 25-17 and set four 25-13 to earn the match win. The Northwestern offense out-hit the Hawkeyes .081 to -.091 in set three and .382 to .025 in the fourth to close it out.

Dietz led the Iowa offense with a .433 hitting percentage and 15 kills, while Bedell followed with 14 kills in the match.

“It’s what we’ve been getting from Alessandra Dietz and Rachael Bedell all season,” Dingman said. “I think Rachael had a few too many hitting errors, but she got some kills and she passed well when she needed to. She did a great job blocking, and Rachael is going to give us what she has. She’s a senior. She has a sense of urgency about her.

“Dietz is just really competitive. She wants to get out there and beat teams. We need the rest of the team to rise up with her. When we push back, we’re going to be alright. We’ll win some, because clearly we’re capable. It’s going to be tough for us in the second half of the Big Ten if we can’t pass any better.”

Lovell and Bethany Yeager each reached double digits in digs with 22 and 18, respectively. Nikki Dailey dished out a team-most 26 assists, and Dietz led the team in blocks with a solo block and four block assists.

The Hawkeyes resume Big Ten play in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Saturday, Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. CT against Illinois. The first 250 fans in the arena will receive a complimentary canvas tote, and an autograph session with the Hawkeyes will follow the completion of the match. Fans can enter free of charge with their football ticket stub from the Iowa vs. Wisconsin game.