Exiting in Style

Dec. 2, 2013

Editor’s Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa’s Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide.

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Four members of the University of Iowa volleyball team played the final match of their Hawkeye careers in front of 1,253 fans on Mediacom Court in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Nov. 30.

Rightside and outside hitter Rachael Bedell, defensive specialist Grace Burns, setter Nikki Dailey, and libero Bethany Yeager each left their mark on the Hawkeye volleyball program.

Bedell was an integral piece of Iowa’s offensive puzzle during her junior and senior seasons. In 2012, she was second on the team with 339 kills (2.97 per set). She finished the 2013 season on a high note, leading the Hawkeyes in 10 of the team’s last 15 matches and posted 317 kills (2.64 per set) — the second most on the team.

Bedell ends her career ranked 18th on Iowa’s all-time career kills list with 916.

Dailey posted several career milestones during her senior season, becoming the sixth player in Iowa volleyball history to surpass the 3,000 career assists mark, 15th to reach the 1,000 career digs mark, and 11th to reach the 1,000 career mark in two statistical categories.

Dailey, who played all but two matches of her Hawkeye career, finishes fifth all-time with 3,161 assists, 14th with 1,049 digs, and 15th with 95 service aces. She led the Hawkeyes in assists in each of her four seasons.

Yeager’s long list of career accomplishments continued to add up in her final season. She shattered the 23-year-old Iowa career digs record of 1,931 set in 1990, and her 2,007 career digs total ranks sixth all-time in Big Ten history.

Yeager earned her first Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honor after helping the Hawkeyes post a perfect 3-0 season-opening weekend and win a Chanticleer Invitational title. She started all but one match of her Iowa career and led the team in digs each season.

Burns’ senior season was the most successful of her Hawkeye career. She recorded season best numbers in matches played (13), sets played (34), matches started (seven), service aces (eight), digs (49), assists (three), kills (1), and attack percentage (.333).

While their personal accomplishments will remain in the Iowa record books, their legacy, drive, and dedication will carry on with the rest of the 2013 Hawkeyes.

“I’ve learned something different from each one of the seniors,” said sophomore Anne Yanda. “I’ve learned a lot about setting from Nikki, leadership from Bethany, how to overcome obstacles from Rachael, and how to laugh and see the good in every situation from Grace. The team as a whole has learned from their perseverance, drive, and passion to get better every day.”