IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa volleyball defeated Northern Iowa (UNI) in straight sets Saturday afternoon in Xtream Arena to close out the Hawkeye Invitational. Senior middle hitter Amiya Jones was named the Hawkeye Invitational MVP. Sophomore outside hitters Toyosi Onabanjo and Addie VanderWeide were named to the all tournament team.
The Hawkeyes were lead by sophomores Michelle Urquahrt and Onabanjo who recorded eight kills apiece and senior Mari Hinkle who recorded a team leading 10 digs. Junior Delaney McSweeney led the way with five block assists to help the Hawkeyes out block the Panthers 9-4. Jones matched her career-high in aces with seven. Junior setter Bailey Ortega recorded a team leading and season high 21 assists.
HOW IT HAPPENED
SET 1 (Iowa, 25-17): UNI opened the set with an unsuccessful challenge. Iowa came out with a lot of energy and took the early lead and did not look back from there. The Panthers took their first time out with the Hawkeye lead at 7-3. UNI did pull within one after a 3-0 scoring run. Iowa went on to match it with three straight points of their own to bring their lead to four. The panthers took their second timeout with Iowa up, 14-9. The Hawkeyes then opened a dominant, 7-0, run to take an 11 point lead. UNI was able to salvage a few points but a kill by McSweeney got the Hawkeyes to set point. A service error by the Panthers secured the first set victory for Iowa.
SET 2 (Iowa, 25-26): The second set opened with 3-0 runs from each team. The Hawkeyes and Panthers were battling back-and-forth in the opening parts of the set. Iowa went on to record four straight points capped off with an ace form Jones to for UNI to take a timeout with the Hawkeyes up 9-8. The timeout didn’t slow the Hawkeyes down as they recorded back-to-back blocks. The Hawkeyes opened a, 10-0, scoring run that included five kills, two blocks, and two aces from the Hawkeyes. The Panthers were able to get kills here-and-there but Iowa maintained control of the set. An ace by Onabanjo extended the Iowa lead to 10 and a kill by Schmidt got the Hawkeyes to set point. Jones had a huge kill to close out the second set victory for Iowa.
SET 3 (Iowa, 25-23): Iowa did not let up to start the third set, opening with a kill from Urquhart and an ace and a kill from Onabanjo. Another Hawkeye ace from the hands of Jones pushed the Iowa lead to, 7-3, and the Panthers took their first timeout. The Hawkeyes opened a 4-0 scoring run capped off by another ace by Jones. UNI then recorded three straight to pull within three. The Panthers took their second timeout with Iowa up 14-9. A successful challenge by the Panthers did not phase Iowa as Urquahrt responded with a big kill to extend the lead to 16-13. UNI got within two, and Iowa took their first timeout. The Panthers did come all the way back to tie the set at 17 all. The Hawkeyes attack didn’t stop as they went on to score six straight to take the lead, 22-17. McSweeney recorded back-to-back kills to get it to match point. UNI did not stop as they went on to score three straight and Iowa took their final timeout with the lead at two. The Panthers did get within one but a kill from Onabanjo sealed the match victory for the Hawkeyes.
HEAR FROM HEAD COACH JIM BARNES
“I am really proud of the team. We played hard and disciplined and we had fun. We were able to put together the things we have been working on and it was great to see it pay off on the court. We played as efficient as we could, and it shows that we can pull away from teams when we play that way.”
HEAR FROM TOYOSI ONABANJO
“He (Coach Barnes) has so much confidence in and believes in us. He and the whole coaching staff as played a huge part in that. We have a lot more positivity on our team and it is really playing out on and off the court. Going into Big Ten, we are going to bring the same exact thing we brought this weekend. Low errors, high intensity, and high aggressiveness and I am sure we will do well in conference.”
The Hawkeyes open B1G play next weekend at home in Xtream Arena. Iowa will host the Ohio State Buckeyes on Friday September 23 at 6 p.m. CT and the Purdue Boilermakers on Sunday September 25 at 12 p.m. CT. Both games will be streamed on B1G Network+ (subscription required).
HAWKEYE INVITATIONAL ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
- Amiya Jones (MVP)
- Addie VanderWeide
- Sydney Petersen (All-Defensive Player)
- Emily Holterhaus
- Inga Rotto
- Mahalia White
- Crystal Burk