Nov. 15, 2013
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — Senior libero and four-year starter Bethany Yeager broke the 23-year-old University of Iowa career digs record with a 13 dig performance in the Hawkeyes’ 3-0 loss to No. 19 Michigan on Friday night on Mediacom Court in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The previous record of 1,931 was set by Janet Moylan in 1990.
“It definitely just goes back to my teammates,” Yeager said. “I give all the credit to my coaches and my teammates for believing in me and putting me in a position to get this award. My teammates deserve this award just as much as anybody. So, I just want to say thank you to my teammates, my coaches, and the fans. It means a lot.”
The Hawkeyes used kills from Alex Lovell, Rachael Bedell, and Nikki Dailey to stay within one of the Wolverines early in set one, but Michigan used a four-point run to pull ahead 11-6. Iowa used a three-point rally to cut the deficit to three with a Lovell kill, an attack error, and an Erin Leppek and Erin Radke dual block, but could not close the gap as the Wolverines took the set, 25-18.
After the Wolverines opened with the first two points, Iowa used kills from Bedell and Lovell to even the second set 2-2. The Michigan offense fired back with a 3-0 run, which was halted by a Radke kill. Yeager collected her third dig of the match on the play to break the Iowa career digs record.
“It’s cool that Bethany got the record tonight,” head coach Sharon Dingman said. “It’s great for her. I know it’s something she’s wanted. She’s worked really hard to get it, so it was nice to see her accomplish that goal.”
An additional Radke kill and a Lovell kill followed to bring the Hawkeyes within one of the Wolverines, 6-5, but Michigan answered by outscoring Iowa 9-2 to pull away. Faced with a nine-point deficit, 21-12, Iowa used a five-point drive fueled by a pair of Lovell kills, a Lauren Brobst kill, and a Lovell and Leppek duo block to force a Wolverine time out.
Michigan returned to the court with a three-point stretch to reach set point, 24-17, but the Hawkeyes continued to fight back with a 4-0 run generated by a Leppek kill, a Bedell and Leppek block, and a pair of opponent errors. The Wolverines recorded the final point in the end, taking the second set 25-20.
The Wolverines outhit the Hawkeyes .250 to .024 and never trailed en route to their 25-14 set three win, which solidified Michigan’s 3-0 match victory. With the loss, Iowa drops to 10-17 overall and 1-14 in Big Ten play. Michigan moves to 17-9 overall and 7-8 in conference action with the win.
Lovell paced the Hawkeye offense with 12 kills and Leppek led the way with a .444 hitting percentage and four blocks in the match. Bedell reached the double digit mark with 10 kills, and Nikki Dailey dished out a team-high 17 assists. Yeager posted a team-most 13 digs, which makes 1,942 digs the new Iowa career digs record.
The Hawkeyes continue Big Ten action against No. 16 Michigan State on Saturday, Nov. 16 at 7 p.m. CT on Mediacom Court in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The match will be shown live on Mediacom’s MC22 and on BTN.com.