Hawkeyes Outlast Northwestern, Post 1st B1G Victory

Box Score

Oct. 18, 2014

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IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa volleyball team earned its first Big Ten win of the 2014 season in five sets Saturday night on Mediacom Court at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Hawkeyes (9-10, 1-7) outlasted Northwestern (13-6, 3-5) to record their 3-2 victory.

“It was a great win for us tonight, to get it at home and to get it in five sets after such a close one the other night against Illinois that went to five,” head coach Bond Shymansky said. “I told our team when we went into that fifth set tonight, `You are built for this and you’ve prepared for this because you have lived it, and this is our time to get it done.’

“We just kept great spirits all the way through and didn’t get rattled. We executed our game plan well.”

A trio of Hawkeye hitters fueled the win. Lauren Brobst paced the offense with a season-high 20 kills, while Jess Janota contributed 16 kills with a .324 attack percentage and Alessandra Dietz added 11 kills with a .348 percentage.

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“It’s the first match in Big Ten play where we’ve had multiple hitters contribute to our team offensively,” Shymansky said. “We knew that once we got a team performance, we were going to get a W. I am really proud of our group. It was a gutty win and the first of many.”

After falling to the Wildcats 25-20 in the opening set, the Hawkeyes took control of the match winning the next two 25-23 and 25-20, respectively.

The teams battled through 11 tie scores and four lead changes in set two before the Hawkeyes pulled ahead on a 6-0 Dietz serving run. A service ace by the senior and a pair of Taylin Alm kills provided the push for Iowa. The Hawkeyes held off the Wildcats late to knot the match at 1-1 heading to the break.

Iowa continued to build offensively in the third set, using a .429 hitting percentage to key its 25-20 win and stake a 2-1 lead over the Wildcats. Janota led the offensive charge with five kills and a .400 attack percentage in the set, while Dietz posted four kills and a .429 percentage.

The Wildcats did not give up in the fourth, outhitting Iowa .300 to .118 to tie the match 2-2 and force a fifth, deciding set.

After six ties in the fifth, the Hawkeyes used a Julianne Blomberg kill and an Alyssa Klostermann service ace to pull ahead of Northwestern 9-7. Their lead held up from there and with a Janota kill Iowa secured its first conference win of the season with a 15-12 victory in the fifth.

Kaylee Smith dished out a team-high 33 assists, while Klostermann contributed 26 in the match. The defense was led by Michelle Fugarino and Mikaela Gunderson, who led the team with 27 digs and four blocks, respectively.

Iowa hits the road for a pair of Big Ten matches next week. The Hawkeyes face Wisconsin on Wednesday and Minnesota on Saturday. Each match begins at 7 p.m. (CT) and can be watched online through BTN Plus at btn2go.com.

Iowa vs. Northwestern 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
Iowa (9-10, 1-7) 20 25 25 23 15
Northwestern (13-6, 3-5) 25 23 20 25 12

Statistical Leaders
Kills: Brobst (IOWA) 20 | Abbott (NU) 20
Assists: Smith (IOWA) 33 | Tashima (NU) 49
Digs: Fugarino (IOWA) 27 | Niedospial (NU) 21
Blocks: Gunderson (IOWA) 4 | Dutchman (NU) 5
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