Hawkeyes Fall to Michigan State, 3-0

Box Score

Oct. 7, 2015

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IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa volleyball team fell to Michigan State, 3-0, Saturday night in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The loss drops the Hawkeyes to 10-9 overall and 0-6 in Big Ten action.

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“Every night is great volleyball. I sound like a broken record repeating myself, but that is the Big Ten,” said UI head coach Bond Shymansky. “It’s going to require your best to beat every opponent and our group just didn’t have it tonight.

“I had a coaching mentor tell me that if you play 30 matches in a season you’re going to have five that are great, five that you shake your head and say `what happened,’ and 20 that are just average. Tonight was a head shaker.”

Michigan State used a .351 attack percentage and 16 kills to outlast the Hawkeyes in the first set. The Spartans got out to an 18-12 lead before Iowa used a four-point swing to come within two (19-17). Kills by senior Mikaela Gunderson (2) and junior Loxley Keala (1) assisted the rally. The Hawkeyes came within one point three times, but could not slow the Spartan momentum.

The Hawkeyes got out to an early lead in the second set before the Spartans used a 5-0 run to gain the lead. They never lost it from there, winning the set 25-18. The Hawkeyes could not get their offensive attack going, hitting .064. The Michigan State block proved to be the difference as the Spartans registered four of their seven total team blocks in the set.

With the score knotted at 11 in the third set, the Spartans used a three-point run to gain a lead. They maintained control from there, winning the set 25-19 and the match 3-0.

Junior Lauren Brobst led the Iowa offense with 11 kills, while Keala dished out 31 assists. Sophomore Annika Olsen led the team in digs (18), and junior Ashley Mariani and Gunderson each added two blocks.

The Hawkeyes travel to Illinois for a pair of contests next weekend. Iowa faces No. 13 Illinois on Friday, Oct. 16, before taking on Northwestern on Sunday, Oct. 18.

“Illinois is a top-20 team,” said Shymansky. “In the Big Ten they’re perennials. It’s going to take a lot to beat them at their place, but we’ve shown that we’re capable of competing on the road.”

Iowa at Michigan State 1st 2nd 3rd
Iowa (10-9, 0-6) 22 18 19
Michigan State (11-6, 3-3) 25 25 25

Statistical Leaders
Kills: Brobst (IOWA) 11 | Toliver (MSU) 13
Assists: Keala (IOWA) 31 | Minarick (MSU) 32
Digs: Olsen (IOWA) 18 | Monson (MSU) 18
Blocks: Mariani/Gunderson (IOWA) 2 | Garvelink (MSU) 4
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