Sept. 13, 2014
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By JIL PRICE
BROOKINGS, S.D. — With a sweep of tournament host South Dakota State (4-7) on Saturday night, the University of Iowa volleyball team clinched the 2014 SDSU Challenge championship. The Hawkeyes improve to 8-2 on the season with the victory.
“This was a great weekend for us,” head coach Bond Shymansky said. “We were 4-0 (this weekend) and now 8-2 overall as we get geared up to take on the Cyclones in Ames next Saturday. This is the buildup we wanted for our group and we’ve had to do it on the road the whole way. That takes a lot of fortitude for our group.
“We got great performances from everyone tonight especially our two middles Alessandra Dietz and Mikaela Gunderson. They were phenomenal. All weekend it was a little bit different. Sometimes it was the left side stepping up and sometimes it was the right. Michelle Fugarino was really good for us at the libero spot and we got a lot of contributions from our whole team.”
The Hawkeyes used a .586 attack percentage to jump ahead of the Jackrabbits with a 25-17 set one win. Alessandra Dietz set a dominant tone for the squad with eight kills, a perfect 1.000 hitting percentage and a pair of service aces. Mikaela Gunderson, Alyssa Klostermann and Taylin Alm also hit 1.000 in the set with two, one and one kills, respectively.
After fighting for control early in the second set, Iowa scored four in a row to pull ahead 7-5. Kills by Dietz, Alm and Lovell fueled the push. The Hawkeyes withstood a late push by South Dakota State and never surrendered their lead en route to their 25-22 win.
Iowa used a five-point run, propelled by a pair of Dietz kills and one from Alex Lovell, to break a tie in the third set, 10-6. The Hawkeyes controlled the remainder of the set to record a 25-19 win and a 3-0 final victory over the Jackrabbits.
Dietz led the Iowa offense with a season-high 15 kills and a career-high .882 hitting percentage. Alyssa Klostermann and Kaylee Smith each dished out 29 assists, while Michelle Fugarino remained strong for the back line with 16 digs.
Dietz and Gunderson were named to the all-tournament team following the completion of the match. It marks Dietz’ second all-tournament nod of the season and Gunderson’s first of her Hawkeye career.
The Hawkeyes meet Iowa State for the annual Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series match next Saturday, Sept. 20. The 4 p.m. (CT) rivalry match will be held in Ames, Iowa.
|Iowa at South Dakota State||1st||2nd||3rd|
|South Dakota State (4-7)||17||22||19|
|Kills: Dietz (IOWA) 15 | Larson (SDSU) 9|
|Assists: Klostermann/Smith (IOWA) 23 | Henter (SDSU) 16|
|Digs: Fugarino (IOWA) 16 | Herrmann (SDSU) 10|