IOWA CITY, Iowa – The University of Iowa Volleyball team fell to Illinois, 3-1, on Saturday afternoon in what is likely the last ever volleyball match inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
For the second straight day, the Hawkeyes took one set off the Fighting Illini. Iowa won the third set 25-19, hitting a season-best .294 (14 kills, four errors, 34 total attacks) in the third set.
Iowa came up short in the first set, 25-20, and dropped the second and fourth set.
Junior Courtney Buzzerio led Iowa in kills (10) for the second straight day. Buzzerio stuffed the stat sheet, adding 10 assists, three digs and six block assists. Freshman Bailey Ortega had 20 assists to tie a game-high and sophomore Joslyn Boyer tallied 17 digs, recording career-high for the second straight game.
HOW IT HAPPENED
SET 1 (Illinois, 25-20): Illinois was up 10-5 to start the set. Trailing, 15-10, Iowa found a groove and rattled off four straight points to force an Illinois timeout. Buzzerio had four kills in the first set and Black had three of her own. Black finished with a personal-best seven kills A Megan Cooney kill by Illinois and an ace from Illinois’ Taylor Kuper, sealed the set for Illinois.
SET 2 (Illinois, 25-13): Iowa fell behind 18-7, but following an Iowa 3-0 un, the Hawkeyes cut it to 18-10.
Buzzerio’s kill count increased to eight through two sets, but an Illinois 8-3 run to close out the set gave the Illini a 2-0 advantage in the match.
SET 3 (Iowa, 25-19): Sophomore Blythe Rients opened set three with a pair of kills. Tied at 12, the Hawkeyes found a rhythm to go on a 4-1 run to make it 16-13. A few Illinois miscues helped Iowa stay up top as the Hawkeyes finished off the set with back-to-back kills by sophomore Edina Schimdt, who finished with eight kills.
SET 4 (Illinois, 25-13): Trailing 2-1, heading into the fourth set, Illinois started the fourth set with a 6-2 run. A kill by Schmidt cut the deficit to 6-5. An Illinois 10-0 gave the Illini a 16-5 lead. Iowa stayed even the rest of the way, but it was too little to late, as Illinois took the fourth and final set.
HEAR FROM HEAD COACH VICKI BROWN
“We’re always talking about winning mentality. That is always implied through the entire match. We talked about attack mentality and go out swinging. When we are aggressive and have that attack mentality, we can do some good things this year.”
Iowa hits the road to face Purdue next weekend in West Lafayette, Indiana. The Hawkeyes will battle the Boilermakers on Friday at 5 p.m. (CT) and on Saturday at 3 p.m.