NORMAN, Okla. — University of Iowa volleyball picked up two wins on Friday to open the 2022 season at the Oklahoma Invitational. The Hawkeyes came out strong and won in straight sets against Gonzaga, and in the nightcap completed the comeback against FIU, winning 3-1 at the McCasland Field House.
Iowa attacked at a .353 clip against the Bulldogs and four Hawkeyes had at least five kills in the opening match that lasted one hour and 22 minutes. The Hawkeyes held the Bulldogs to an attack percentage of .091.
In the first match, Sophomore outside hitter Michelle Urquhart led the Hawkeyes and recorded a double-double in the first match of the day with 17 kills and 10 digs. Junior Delaney McSweeney, senior Amiya Jones and redshirt senior Jacqlyn Caspers all recorded an attacking percentage at .500 or better.
Iowa was able to hold Florida International to an attack percentage of .027 in the second match of the day. Despite being out blocked in the match, the Hawkeye defense was able to come up in big moments to shut the Panthers down.
Urquhart led the way again, recording her second straight double-double of the day with 10 kills and 12 digs. Sophomore Addie Vanderweide also registered a double-double against the Panthers. Senior libero Mari Hinkle recorded 23 digs in the match to lead the team.
HOW IT HAPPENED
SET 1 (Iowa, 25-15): The first set was a back-and-forth affair with neither team grabbing a significant lead until Iowa started to pull away at the end. With the Hawkeyes leading 15-13, Gonzaga called time out and Iowa returned full force, closing out the set with an 11-2 rally to secure the first set victory.
SET 2 (Iowa, 25-13): Iowa opened the second set strong, grabbing an early, 9-4, lead. The Hawkeyes recorded back-to-back-to-back kills to take a 12-8 lead midway through the set. Iowa never lost control of this set, going on an 11-0 scoring run to take a 20-8 lead before clenching the second set in a 25-13 victory.
SET 3 (Iowa, 25-18): The third set was evenly matched, but Iowa kept control of the lead the whole way. Iowa had timely kills to maintain the lead throughout the set. With the score at 23-18 the Bulldogs called a time out. After the timeout, the Hawkeyes were able to close out and take the set with back-to-back kills.
VS. FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY
SET 1 (FIU, 25-23): The first set was a back-and-forth affair with neither team grabbing a significant lead, as the score was tied 5-5, then 8-8, 12-12, and 21-21. A 3-0 Panthers run forced an Iowa timeout. The Hawkeyes cut the deficit to one before Florida International closed the set with a 25-23 win.
SET 2 (Iowa, 25-18): The Panthers jumped out to an early lead to start the second set. The Hawkeyes then went on a 4-0 scoring run to tie the set at 7-7 and forced FIU to take a timeout. After the time out, it was more back and forth between the Panthers and the Hawkeyes. Iowa tied it up at 18-18 and did not let up. The Hawkeyes closed out the set with an 8-0 scoring run to secure the victory.
SET 3 (Iowa, 25-16): Iowa opened the third set strong with a 3-0 rally. The Panthers clawed their way back into the set and it was a back-and-forth battle. In the end, Iowa ran away with the set victory as they were able to close it out on a 7-1 scoring run.
SET 4 (Iowa, 25-18): The fourth set opened evenly matched, but the Hawkeyes started to pull away as they went on a 7-0 run to take a 12-6 lead over the Panthers. In the end, Iowa prevailed and closed out the set strong to secure the match victory.
HEAR FROM HEAD COACH JIM BARNES
“I’m just proud of the team. You saw two different matches today where we came out and played really good volleyball in the first match. In the second one, we didn’t have our game going but we still found ways to win defensively. You are always going to have a chance to win when your defense is there, and that is what I am most proud of.”
HEAR FROM MICHELLE URQUHART
“I am feeling pretty good. I think all together as a team we really stepped it up. Adversity really challenged us, but we stepped up and played together, and I think that is what helped us to two victories.”
- Jim Barnes picked up his first two wins as the Hawkeye head coach
- Michelle Urquhart recorded double-doubles in both matches today; her first in a Hawkeye uniform.
- Six Hawkeyes made their debut in black and gold, including transfers Delaney McSweeney, Lily Tessier, Jacqlyn Caspers, and Michelle Urquhart as well as freshman Nia Washington and redshirt freshman Sydney Dennis.
Iowa returns to action Saturday against the Oklahoma Sooners at 5 p.m. CT. The match will be streamed on ESPN+; available with subscription.