Hawkeyes Down No. 25 Texas A&M

Box Score

Sept. 12, 2015

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IOWA CITY, Iowa — With a 3-1 victory over No. 25 Texas A&M on Saturday night, the University of Iowa volleyball team clinched the 2015 Comfort Suites Challenge Championship. The win marks Iowa’s first win over a ranked opponent since defeating No. 12 Purdue, 3-1, on Nov. 8, 2014.

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“Our expectation now is to win,” said UI head coach Bond Shymansky. “We didn’t think that we were the underdog, and we were even disappointed that we even lost a set. We have something really special happening within our program. What a fantastic job by our whole team tonight.”

Iowa is now 6-3 on the season and currently riding a four-match win streak.

Sophomore Jess Janota was named the tournament’s most valuable player, while senior Mikaela Gunderson and junior Lauren Brobst were both named to the all-tournament team. Janota finished the weekend with 41 kills, including a career-high 20 against Iowa State. Brobst paced the team with 45 kills throughout the weekend, while Gunderson posted a .459 attack percentage and 30 kills in three matches.

Four Hawkeyes reached double digits in kills in the victory. Brobst led the way with 17, while Janota (14), freshman Reagan Davey (13), and Gunderson (12) also reached double digits. Davey has now posted a career-high in kills in three-straight matches.

Junior Loxley Keala ran the Hawkeye offense, dishing out a season-high 57 assists. Sophomore Annika Olsen paced the team in digs with 13, while Davey and Gunderson each added four blocks.

The Hawkeyes and Aggies battled in set one as neither team could establish a commanding lead. With the set tied, 23-23, Shymansky called a timeout. Janota followed with a kill and senior Alli O’Deen sealed the set with an ace to give the Hawkeyes a 1-0 lead. Iowa posted a .406 attack percentage in the set, and four Hawkeyes (Davey, Brobst, and Janota) registered four kills apiece.

After dropping the second set, the Hawkeyes came out firing in the third. Iowa posted a .438 attack percentage with the help of Davey and Gunderson who recorded five kills apiece. After trading points with the Aggies, the Hawkeyes used a five-point run to establish a lead. They remained in control from there, fighting off a late Aggie rally to take the set, 25-22.

Iowa got out to an early 5-1 lead in the fourth set with the help of kills from Davey, Janota and Brobst. Texas A&M used a five-to-one run late to tie the game at 22, before kills by Janota (1) and Brobst (2) sealed the 25-22 set victory.

“I thought our intensity level and our scrappiness was really sharp,” said Shymansky. “It would have been so easy to just be flat tonight after all that we gave last night against Iowa State. We gave it all again tonight. We are so proud of our group.”

The Hawkeyes return to action next weekend, hosting the Holiday Inn Hawkeye Challenge on Sept. 18-19. Iowa hosts Gardner-Webb, Coastal Carolina, and Drake in the two-day tournament.

#25 Texas A&M vs. Iowa 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
#25 Texas A&M (5-3) 23 25 22 22
Iowa (6-3) 25 20 25 25

Statistical Leaders
Kills: Brobst (IOWA) 17 | Babers (TAMU) 17
Assists: Keala (IOWA) 57 | Aiple (TAMU) 50
Digs: Olsen (IOWA) 13 | Nettles (TAMU) 17
Blocks: GundersonDavey (IOWA) 4 | Babers (TAMU) 6
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