Hawkeyes Battled With No. 14 Penn State

CORALVILLE, Iowa – University of Iowa volleyball fell to No. 14 Penn State, 3-2, Saturday night in Xtream Arena.

This was the second time in program history that Iowa has gone to five sets with Penn State, the first time in 2000. The Hawkeye’s first set victory was the first time since 1995 that they had taken the opening set from the Nittany Lions.

The Hawkeyes were led by junior Delaney McSweeney who hit at a clip of .364 and senior Amiya Jones who led the team with 14 kills. Setters Lily Tessier and Bailey Ortega recorded 24 and 23 assists, respectively. Senior Mari Hinkle led the Hawkeyes with 16 digs.


SET 1 (Iowa, 27-25): Iowa opened the set with back-to-back kills and were able to take an early 4-1 lead. A 3-0 Hawkeye run forced Penn State to take a timeout with the score at 7-3. The Nittany Lions came out of the timeout and scored three straight to get within one. An ace off the hand of Jones gave Iowa a 9-6 lead. The two teams were going point-for-point before Penn State went on a 4-0 run to take their first lead of the match. Iowa took a timeout down one, 13-12. The Hawkeyes took their second timeout after another four straight from the Nittany Lions to extend their lead to five. After a lengthy review on a Penn State challenge, Iowa retained the point and the score was at 20-15, Nittany Lions. A 6-0 Iowa run got them within one. Penn State took a timeout as the Hawkeyes were able to tie it at 21. Iowa was able to get to set point, 24-22, on a Nittany Lion error. Three straight Penn State kills gave them the 25-24 lead. The Hawkeyes were able to close out the set with three-straight points of their own to secure the set victory.

SET 2 (PSU, 25-22): Iowa opened the set with back-to-back blocks and was able to pull out to a 5-2 lead. The Nittany Lions were able to tie it at six after an unsuccessful Iowa challenge. Three straight Hawkeye kills gave them the, 9-8, lead. From there it was back-and-forth between the two teams with ties at points 10 through 12. Iowa took a timeout as Penn State’s lead was at three, 16-13. An ace from senior Edina Schmidt got Iowa within one, 16-15. Two straight errors from the Nittany Lions tied the set at 18. A big block from McSweeney tied it again at 20. The two teams closed out the set exchanging points as Penn State was able to even the match at one.

SET 3 (PSU, 25-15): Penn State jumped out to an early 6-1 lead and forced a Hawkeye timeout. Iowa was clawing their way back into the match as they went on a 4-0 run to get within one and force a Nittany Lion timeout. They were playing cat and mouse as the Penn State lead was staying at one. Penn State started to pull away as they scored four straight to take a 17-10 lead. Another run of three for the Nittany Lions extended their lead to 10. Penn State was able to maintain control of the set until the end.

SET 4 (Iowa, 25-20): Two straight kills from Schmidt and Jones gave Iowa a 3-1 lead. Jones had a back-to-back kill and block to give the Hawkeyes a 5-2 lead. Penn State took their first timeout after a 3-0 run for Iowa to extend their lead to five. A big block from Jones and Schmidt gave the Hawkeyes the 13-7 lead. A 3-0 Nittany Lion run cut the Iowa lead to three. From there, the two teams were going point-for-point and Iowa took a timeout with the score at 18-16. The Hawkeyes were the first to 20 on a kill from sophomore Michelle Urquhart. Penn State took their second timeout after an ace from Ortega gave Iowa a 22-18 lead. The Hawkeyes got to set point on a Penn State error and a kill from Jones secured the set for Iowa.

SET 5 (PSU, 15-13): The two teams were playing evenly matched in the decisive fifth set. Sophomore Addie VanderWeide and McSweeney had a big block to give the Hawkeyes the 5-4 lead. Iowa was the first to eight in the set as the teams switched sides. Iowa had a two-point lead, 10-8, as Penn State called timeout. The Hawkeyes quickly took a timeout as the Nittany Lions tied it at 10. Penn State quickly got two more to take a 12-10 lead and Iowa took their second timeout of the set. A kill from McSweeney tied the set at 12 all. Penn State was able to get to match point, but a kill from VanderWeide made it 14-13. The Nittany Lions were able to close out the match on a kill.


“We are playing everyone extremely close, and we are working hard to breakthrough. We had opportunities to win today. We played hard. Even when we were down, we battled back and never gave up. That is what gave us a chance. “


“I love when we have a nice crowd, it really gets us gassed up. It is so nice to feel the support and feel the fans rallying behind us. Tonight was nothing like we had ever felt before, and Xtream gives us such a close atmosphere, so it is nice to really be able to feel the energy of the fans.”


The Hawkeyes return to Xtream Arena in Coralville, Iowa, on Wednesday, Oct. 19 to host No. 10 Minnesota. First serve is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT and will be televised on ESPNU.