Hawkeyes Swept by No. 16 Spartans

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Nov. 16, 2013

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IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa volleyball dropped a 3-0 match to No. 16 Michigan State on Mediacom Court in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Saturday evening. The Spartans are now 20-8 overall and 9-7 in Big Ten play, while the Hawkeyes fall to 10-18 overall and 1-15 in conference action.

The Michigan State offense started set one on a high note, outscoring the Hawkeyes 13-3 for an early 10-point advantage, and never looked back en route to its 25-10 win. The Spartans outhit Iowa .519 to .071 in the opening set.

The Hawkeyes outdid the Spartans 8-3 in the first 10 points of the second set, fueled by an Alex Lovell kill and service ace and an Erin Leppek and Lauren Brobst duo block. Iowa maintained an advantage until Michigan State used a run to knot the score 15-15. From there the teams battled back and forth through eight ties three lead changes. With the score tied at 22 apiece, the Spartans used a 3-1 run to edge out the Hawkeyes and close the set 25-23.

Lovell’s four kills paced Iowa in the set, Rachael Bedell followed with three kills, and Erin Radke hit a team-best .500 in the set with three kills.

Iowa opened the third set with a pair of Bedell kills to seize the momentum and stake an early lead. The Hawkeyes fought through three tie scores, but maintained their advantage with a balanced offensive attack led by four-kill efforts from Bedell and Lovell. Michigan State used a two-point run to tie late in the set, 19-19, and outscored Iowa 6-4 to end the set, 25-23, and the match, 3-0.

“We competed hard to keep ourselves in it,” head coach Sharon Dingman said. “Rachael Bedell, once again, plays at a high level. She was taking big swings. It’s really unfortunate we could not get her a good swing on that last ball because we’d still be playing. It was nice to see Erin Radke play the way she played tonight. We haven’t seen that from her this season. It was great to see that.

“I loved our energy. I thought it was very positive. That was one of the things the team talked about. That was one of their goals for tonight. They felt they played with a lack of energy last night, and they wanted to produce their own energy. It’s not coming from anyone else. So, I thought that was really good. I’m proud of how we played. I just wish we were still playing because I think we deserve to still be playing. It’s tough.”

Bedell led the way for the Hawkeye offense with 11 kills and Lovell followed with nine kills. Alessandra Dietz hit a team-high .333 in the match. Nikki Dailey dished out a team-most 15 assists, while Bethany Yeager posted a team-high 15 digs. Leppek led the blocking front with three block assists on the night.

The Hawkeyes hit the road for matches at Indiana and Purdue on Nov. 22 and Nov. 23, respectively. Both matches are slated for a 6 p.m. CT start. The match against the Boilermakers can be viewed live on BTN.com or through the BTN2Go application.