IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa volleyball team defeated Oakland (4-3) in straight sets on Saturday evening to clinch the 2016 Hawkeye Classic Championship. The Hawkeyes improved to 6-1 on the season with the win.
“We needed a bounce-back effort,” said UI head coach Bond Shymansky. “When we are getting team balance, good things are happening. Overall, it was great for us to win our home tournament. That’s back-to-back tournaments where we come away with trophies. I’m really proud of our group.”
Senior Lauren Brobst was named the tournament’s most valuable player — her second MVP honor in as many weeks. Junior Jess Janota and sophomore Reghan Coyle were both named to the all-tournament team. Brobst led the Hawkeyes with 45 kills and a .360 attack percentage on the weekend. Coyle hit a team-high .387 in four matches, registered 33 kills in 62 attempts, and Janota recorded 28 kills and eight blocks.
Down 21-18 in set one, the Hawkeyes used a five-point run to take a 23-21 lead. Kills and a block assist from redshirt freshman Meghan Buzzerio and senior Ashley Mariani aided the Iowa rally and gave the Hawkeyes momentum. Iowa held on from there, using back-to-back kills by Coyle and Buzzerio to seal the 25-22 victory. Iowa hit .375 in the set with 15 kills. Brobst led the offensive charge, registering five kills in eight attempts with no errors.
The Hawkeyes got out to an early 12-4 lead in set two before the Golden Grizzlies rallied to pull within three. Iowa managed to hang on; however, taking advantage of 13 Oakland errors to win the set, 25-22. Junior Jess Janota, Buzzerio, and Brobst each registered three kills in the set, while senior setter Loxley Keala dished out 10 assists.
The Iowa offense got hot in set three, hitting .387 with 15 kills. The Hawkeyes established an early lead with a six-point run. Janota served the rally and added an ace, while Buzzerio (2) and Coyle (1) registered kills. Iowa never lost its lead from there, going on to win the set, 25-16, and the match, 3-0.
Brobst led the Hawkeye offense with 11 kills and a .400 attack percentage. Keala dished out a team-leading 30 assists, and junior lilbero Annika Olsen tallied 14 digs. Mariani and Janota each recorded four blocks.
Iowa travels to Ames, Iowa, for the Iowa State Invitational, Sept. 9-10. The Hawkeyes and Cyclones face off in the annual Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series on Friday, Sept. 9 at 6 p.m. (CT), before facing Montana and North Dakota State on Saturday, Sept. 10.