Iowa Falls to Michigan State on Senior Night

Box Score

Nov. 28, 2014

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IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa dropped its season finale 3-0 to Michigan State (18-13, 11-9) on Mediacom Court in Carver-Hawkeye Arena Friday night. The Hawkeyes end the 2014 season with a 14-17 overall record and a 6-14 mark in Big Ten action. The team’s six conference wins is the most for the program since 2008.

“I thought our group did a great job of continuing the momentum from the first set as we closed the gap and started really competing hard and executing the game plan a little better,” head coach Bond Shymansky said. “We took that into the second set. We had good competitive fight in those tight moments at the end where we need every contact to be high focus and high execution. We just let some errors get away from us and they separated right at the end of the second set.

“I thought we were looking good in the third set, again the momentum was right there and the execution was there for us, our group was intense and I really liked that. I felt like our group was really playing hard for the seniors.”

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Five Hawkeyes — Alessandra Dietz, Erin Leppek, Alex Lovell, Kari Mueller and Emily Yanny — were recognized prior to the match as a part of Senior Night.

“The senior class is awesome, and we’re doing a senior reception for them after the match tonight,” Shymansky said. “The choice they had to make was if they were going to buy in and give everything that they’ve got, accept the changes, and fight through it as hard as they could or shrug their shoulders and go away saying, `it’s not for me’ or `this wasn’t my coach’.

“They made the right choice, and I’m appreciative of that as a new coach inside the program. They should have a lot of pride knowing that they’re a part of the beginning of what’s happening inside this program and they’ll be able to look back on that five years from now and 10 years from now when this thing is chugging along they can say, `I played volleyball at Iowa’ and people will just say wow. That’s the kind of pride they should have in terms of their contribution to the program.”

The Spartans got off to a hot start scoring five-straight points to pull ahead of Iowa 6-1 early in the opening set. The Hawkeyes rallied back within two 23-21 late, but Michigan State used a pair of kills to record the 25-21 set one win. Lauren Brobst provided the offense with five kills and a .400 attack percentage, while Taylin Alm and Lovell added two kills apiece in the set.

Iowa established a four-point lead midway through the second set, propelled by Dietz who led the scoring push recording three kills and a block in the stretch. Michigan State fought back to tie it up 18-18 and overtook the Hawkeyes to win the set 25-20. Both teams battled through eight tie scores in the third set before the Spartans used an eight-point run to seize the momentum. Michigan State did not surrender its lead from there completing the sweep with a 25-15 win. Dietz led the Hawkeye offense in the final set of her career with four kills and an .800 attack percentage.

With a .294 attack percentage in the match, Dietz wrote her name in the Iowa volleyball record book. She broke Jen Barcus’ eight-year-old career attack percentage record (.276), finishing her career with a .278 attack percentage. Dietz also ends her career 11th all-time with 274 career blocks, and is the single match attack percentage record holder (.882).

“It’s definitely pretty weird and sad I’m done,” Dietz said. “I can’t even wrap my head around it yet. I’m just glad that our team put up a fight tonight, and it was a good example of what we’ve worked for and what our senior class has worked for. Especially this season since the coaching change. What my teammates have worked toward makes me really proud.”

Lovell ends her Hawkeye career ninth all-time with 1279 kills. She recorded two in her final match and added three digs.

“I’m definitely going to miss playing in Carver-Hawkeye Arena,” Lovell said. “It’s just awesome to be able to get pumped up and excited with my teammates over a point, to have all of the Hawkeye fans, and playing at home is just something that I’ll really miss. It was so weird having it the last time tonight.”

Mueller recorded six digs in her three sets played, while Leppek and Yanny each appeared in a set.

Alyssa Klostermann dished out a team-high 17 assists, Michelle Fugarino led the team with 15 digs and Mikaela Gunderson paced the block with four in the match.

Iowa at #25 Minnesota 1st 2nd 3rd
Iowa (14-17, 6-14) 21 20 15
Michigan State (18-13, 11-9) 25 25 25

Statistical Leaders
Kills: Dietz (IOWA) 8 | Reinig (MSU) 14
Assists: Klostermann (IOWA) 17 | Minarick (MSU) 31
Digs: Fugarino (IOWA) 15 | Moster (MSU) 21
Blocks: Gunderson (IOWA) 4 | Garvelink (MSU) 8
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