Hawkeyes Fall to No. 7 Penn State

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IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa volleyball team (9-13, 3-8) fell to seventh-ranked Penn State (17-3, 10-1), in three sets on Friday night inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Junior Griere Hughes led Iowa with 10 kills and sophomore Courtney Buzzerio added 22 assists.

“With our new lineup we’re looking to find balance on our passing line, so Jaedynn (Evans) did a good job of coming in and making plays for us. Courtney (Buzzerio) has also done a good job of staying balanced and adjusting in match. For somebody who has not set for us in a while, it was important for her to come out and stay composed. A big part is finding that hot hand and setting them at the right time. That will come with more reps. Courtney has done a good job this whole season in any position we have played her in.”

SET 1 (25-12) | Iowa surrendered the first points to the Nittany Lions, but remained close after 10 points, trailing 6-4. A four-point Penn State run followed by an Iowa attack error put Iowa behind by six points and forced Iowa to call a timeout. Penn State opened the floodgates and led 19-9 before a block from freshman Blythe Rients and sophomore Courtney Buzzerio gave the Hawkeyes life. Penn State called its first timeout, stifling any Iowa momentum and took control to take set 1, 25-12.

SET 2 (25-22) | With the first set behind them, the Hawkeyes opened the second set with a renewed focus. Iowa took the lead immediately off an ace from freshman Jaedynn Evans and did not allow Penn State to run away with the set. Iowa fell behind 9-6, but sophomore Amiya Jones tallied two kills and freshman Kyndra Hansen’s fourth ace of the year closed the gap to one point. Junior Griere Hughes tied the score at 11 after back-to-back kills and the Hawkeyes began flirting with a lead midway through the set. Penn State gained a two-point lead and Iowa was forced to call its first timeout. A couple of blocks courtesy of Jones of Hansen gave Iowa an 18-17 lead, but the Hawkeyes could not put away the Nittany Lions. An Iowa service error while tied at 19 gave Penn State a lead and the seventh-ranked team in the nation made the most of its one-point lead to close set two, 25-22.

SET 3 (25-19) |Penn State opened the third set in complete control with the Hawkeyes tallying a kill and two blocks through 14 total points as Penn State led 9-5. After three straight attack errors, a Jones kill gave Iowa momentum as the kills began to fall for Iowa. As Penn State began closing in on victory, Iowa refused to go away with a four-point run to bring the score to 23-16 and Penn State called its first timeout. Out of the timeout, Iowa tallied three more points for 19 total and Penn State closed the door on a comeback with a kill.

The Hawkeyes turn around to play Rutgers Saturday night at 7 p.m. (CT) inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Tickets are available at hawkeyesports.com/tickets or over the phone at 800-IA-HAWKS.

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