Iowa Drops 5-Set Battle to No. 24 Michigan

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Oct. 7, 2015

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IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa volleyball team dropped a five-set battle to No. 24 Michigan on Wednesday night in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The loss drops the Hawkeyes to 10-8 overall and 0-5 in Big Ten action.

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“We had a chance to put them away in the third set when we had match point,” said UI head coach Bond Shymansky. “We needed some players to come up big in some big moments and we just faltered. We have to be way better than that in those tight situations.”

The Hawkeyes came out swinging in the first set, registering a .400 attack percentage on 18 kills and four errors. Senior Mikaela Gunderson led the charge with five kills and a .714 hitting percentage, while freshman Reagan Davey also added five kills and hit .571. The Hawkeyes established an early lead on a Davey kill and an Ashley Mariani ace. They never lost it from there, winning the set, 25-23.

Michigan got out to an early lead 3-1 lead in the second set before the Hawkeyes stormed back with a 5-1 run. A block by junior Lauren Brobst and Gunderson and a kill by sophomore Jess Janota assisted the rally. The Hawkeyes never lost the momentum from there, coasting to a 25-13 set victory. Iowa stayed hot in the set, registering 14 kills and a .355 attack percentage. Davey led the way with six kills on nine attempts and no errors (.667 attack percentage).

Iowa controlled the third set early on, getting out to a 16-12 lead. Following a Michigan timeout, the Wolverines came back to tie the set at 17-17. It was neck and neck from there. The Hawkeyes served match point three times, but could not finish off the set as Michigan went on to win, 28-26.

The Wolverines got out to an 8-5 lead in the fourth set before Iowa fired back to tie the set at 11. Iowa used a pair of Michigan attacking errors and a block by Janota and Davey to establish a 14-12 lead and force a Michigan timeout. The Wolverines came back to tie the set at 15, before the Hawkeyes went out a 3-0 run on kills from Janota and Brobst. Down 18-15, the Wolverines came surging back to ultimately force a fifth set with a, 25-21, set-four win.

The fifth set was a back and forth battle, featuring 10 ties and eight lead changes. Four costly service errors were the difference as the Wolverines won the set 15-13 to secure the 3-2 match victory.

Davey posted a double-double with career highs in kills (21) and digs (12). Brobst added 20 kills, while Janota (15) and Gunderson (10) also reached double digits. Sophomore Annika Olsen led the team in digs with 23, while freshman Molly Kelly posted a new career-high with 11. Janota paced the Hawkeyes with a career-high six blocks, and junior Loxley Keala notched a career-high 64 assists.

The Hawkeyes return to Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Saturday, Oct. 10, when they host Michigan State at 7 p.m. (CT).

“Michigan State is another good team,” said Shymansky. “It’s an opportunity for us to take another top-25 caliber team down. The white out was great tonight and a lot of fans came out. We want them to keep cheering us on and giving us everything they’ve got.”

Iowa at #24 Michigan 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
Iowa (10-8, 0-5) 25 25 26 21 13
#24 (13-3, 3-2) 23 13 28 25 15

Statistical Leaders
Kills: Davey (IOWA) 21 | Cole (MICH) 17
Assists: Keala (IOWA) 64 | Warner (MICH) 39
Digs: Olsen (IOWA) 23 | Skjodt (MICH) 13
Blocks: Janota (IOWA) 6 | Cole (MICH) 8
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