Hawkeyes Down Wildcats, Improve to 16-7 on Season

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IOWA CITY, Iowa – Sophomore Reghan Coyle amassed a career-high 14 kills as the University of Iowa volleyball team took down Northwestern 3-1 on Friday night in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Hawkeyes improve to 16-7 overall and 6-5 in Big Ten action.
“You can tell when the excitement builds for our team, that’s when we are at our best,” said head coach Bond Shymansky. “That’s part of the true mental toughness that we keep applying. You can see our group is hungry to win the next point when things get tight, instead of being worried about winning the next point. We responded great at the end of the fourth set. I just really appreciate what our whole group gave tonight. I thought it was great.”
Coyle also racked up a .409 hitting percentage and three blocks. In addition, Ashley Mariani, Meghan Buzzerio, Lauren Brobst and Jess Janota each collected nine kills. Loxley Keala had 47 assists, four kills and an .800 attacking percentage.
After Northwestern (8-15, 1-10 B1G) jumped out to 5-2, the Hawkeyes stormed back with an 8-3 run, bolstered by kills from Brobst (3), Janota (2) and Mariani, to take a 10-8 advantage in set one. After back-and-forth points, Northwestern used a 5-2 run to regain the lead before Iowa called a timeout. The break sparked a 6-1 Hawkeye run to capture a 25-22 set victory. Coyle led the final stretch with three kills.
Iowa took an 8-3 lead and never looked back to capture set two. Coyle caught fire early in the set as she amassed the first four kills for the Hawkeyes. Buzzerio chipped in two kills, while Molly Kelly added an ace to aid the run. Northwestern attempted a comeback, but the Iowa defense showed their true mental toughness as they secured a 25-19 set win for the home team.
After the squad fell in set three, Iowa secured the victory in the fourth set. With the final set knotted 8-8, a Brobst kill sparked a 6-2 Iowa run that also included kills from Coyle (3), Mariani (1) and Annika Olsen (1). The Wildcats countered with seven unanswered points to take a 17-14 lead before back-to-back kills by Buzzerio and Brobst cut off the visiting team’s charge. With a 24-24 score, Alyssa Klostermann came in clutch with a monster dig-turned-kill to give the Hawkeyes a chance to serve for match point. Coyle concluded the match with a final kill to give Iowa a 26-24 set victory and a 3-1 match win.
“We take on Illinois right here tomorrow night,” added Shymansky. “I can’t say enough about how we rolled out; it was awesome, and with thousands of fans out here cheering on the Hawkeyes, it just keeps getting bigger, better and more exciting. I am really proud of what our group is doing and how we’re responding.”
Iowa takes the court again tomorrow as they host Illinois in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. First serve is set for 7 p.m.