IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa volleyball picked up two wins on Friday to open the Hawkeye Invitational. The Hawkeyes came out strong and won in straight sets against South Dakota State (SDSU) and North Florida inside Xtream Arena.
Iowa attacked at a .320 clip against the Jackrabbits and the Hawkeyes out blocked SDSU, 7-4, in the opening match. The Hawkeyes held SDSU to an attack percentage of .222.
In the first match, senior outside hitter Edina Schmidt led the Hawkeyes and matched her season best kills with nine. Redshirt freshman Sydney Dennis, redshirt senior Lily Tessier and sophomore Michelle Urquhart all recorded team-high seven digs. Urquhart also led the team with her season high four service aces.
In the second match, the Hawkeyes had eight aces as a team, led by senior Amiya Jones and sophomore Addie VanderWeide with two apiece. Urquhart led the team with 11 kills and senior Mari Hinkle had 14 digs to lead the team. Despite being out blocked in the match the Hawkeyes defense was able to come up big in key situations to sweep the match.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- SOUTH DAKOTA STATE
SET 1 (Iowa, 25-23): The first set was a back-and-forth affair to start with the biggest lead being three points for Iowa. Jones led the way recording three kills in the first five Hawkeye points. Iowa successfully challenged a play to take the, 11-8, lead. SDSU then took two timeouts as the Hawkeye lead was starting to grow. Shortly after the timeouts, Iowa took the biggest lead of the match, up 16-10. The Jackrabbits then got back into the match to pull within one and forced Iowa to take their first timeout with the score at 19-18. The two teams exchanged points, and SDSU had an unsuccessful challenge to keep the Hawkeye lead at two. The Jackrabbits had a kill and an ace to extend the match and force Iowa to take their last timeout. A service error after the timeout sealed the set victory for the Hawkeyes.
SET 2 (Iowa, 25-15): The Hawkeyes and the Jackrabbits opened the second set evenly matched, but Iowa started to pull away thanks to three-straight aces from Urquhart. SDSU took a timeout early as Iowa was on a 5-0 run to take the 9-3 lead. After the timeout, South Dakota got a few points, but Iowa kept a sizeable lead throughout the entire set. The Jackrabbits took their second timeout with the Hawkeye lead at seven. An ace by sophomore Toyosi Onabanjo extended Iowa’s lead to 19-9 — the largest lead in the set. SDSU did go on a 3-0 run but the Hawkeyes were still up 19-12. Iowa sealed the set victory on back-to-back kills by VanderWeide. The Hawkeyes had their best offensive set attacking at a clip of .522.
SET 3 (Iowa, 25-22): Iowa opened the third set strong, taking a, 6-1, lead and forcing an early Jackrabbit timeout. The Hawkeye defense was a key part of the early run, registering three blocks, with Jones recording the block assist on all three. SDSU clawed their way back into the set after the timeout as they went on a 5-0 run to tie the set. After a Hawkeye timeout, SDSU took the lead, 10-7, scoring another four-straight points. Iowa regained the lead after a dominant 7-1 scoring stretch, and the Jackrabbits used their final timeout with Iowa, leading 14-11. Graduate transfer Madi Wahrmund checked into the game to make her first appearance as a Hawkeye and registered a kill. South Dakota tied the set at 17 all, and eventually went on to take the lead, 20-18. After Iowa used their final timeout, they went on a 5-1 run to take the, 23-21, lead over the Jackrabbits. A big kill by Urquhart got the Hawkeyes to match point and an attack error by SDSU sealed the victory for Iowa.
- NORTH FLORIDA
SET 1 (Iowa, 25-14): The Hawkeyes came out attacking as they opened the set on a 4-1 run. North Florida then went on a streak to tie the set at four. Jones kept the team aces going from the first match to continue a 4-0 run for Iowa to go up, 9-6. From then on, the Hawkeyes kept control of the set. The Ospreys took their first timeout with Iowa up, 13-7. The Hawkeyes then went on another 5-1 scoring run to take a 10-point lead and force North Florida to take their final timeout of the set. Jones had her second ace of the set to give Iowa the, 23-12, lead. The Hawkeyes closed out the set victory in dominant fashion.
SET 2 (Iowa, 25-22): The second set was much more evenly matched. The Hawkeyes continued with aces to tie the set at two. It was a back-and-forth match with ties at all points, two through six. The Ospreys then went on a 7-1 run to take a 12-7 lead and forced Iowa to take a timeout. The Hawkeyes came out of the timeout strong, opening with a 3-0 scoring run and a big block from redshirt senior Jacqlyn Caspers to pull within three. Hinkle took a dig off the face to keep a rally alive and Urquhart capitalized to get the score to 15-12, North Florida. Iowa then went on another 3-0 run to pull within one and the Ospreys took a timeout. The Hawkeyes were able to take the lead, 19-18, with the help of another ace. The Ospreys and Hawkeyes went point-for-point to close out the set. Iowa was able to secure the set victory to go up 2-0 in the match.
SET 3 (Iowa, 25-23): North Florida came out strong to open the third set, but Iowa was able to keep it close as Onabanjo recorded an ace to get within one. The Hawkeyes stayed in it and were able to take the lead, 8-7, on an ace from Tessier. Iowa then went on a hot streak, scoring five straight with two aces from VanderWeide to extend their lead, 13-8. The Hawkeyes and Ospreys exchanged points, but Iowa never relinquished the lead. North Florida took its final timeout as Iowa extended its lead, up 20-16. North Florida went on a 3-0 run to get within one and the Hawkeyes took a timeout. Jones had a big kill to get it to match point, and Iowa was able to close out the match on a kill by junior Delaney McSweeney.
HEAR FROM HEAD COACH JIM BARNES
“I am happy for the team. We have a lot of new faces. it was their first time getting to play here in front of our fans, and we had a nice crowd tonight. We brought a lot of different offensive looks with so many different hitters. We were able to overwhelm the teams today with that and our passing was really good. If we keep the errors low, we are going to be able to stay ahead of teams throughout the season.”
HEAR FROM MICHELLE URQUHART
“We definitely missed being home. Just being in our home environment was definitely really exciting. I’ve been focusing on being consistent and doing my job to help my teammates.”
Iowa returns to action Saturday against the Northern Iowa Panthers at 2 p.m. CT at Xtream Arena. The match will be streamed on Big Ten Plus; available with subscription.