CORALVILLE, Iowa – University of Iowa volleyball defeated Michigan, 3-2, Friday evening in Xtream Arena. After dropping the first two sets of the match, the Hawkeyes fought to take the final three to secure the win.
Iowa was led with career performances by freshmen Nia Washington and Sydney Dennis. Washington set career-high kills with 16, tying the team high with senior Amiya Jones. Jones led the Hawkeyes hitting at a clip of .481. Dennis led the team and set a career high with 23 digs. Setter Bailey Ortega had a team-leading 29 assists.
This was Iowa’s first win over Michigan since 2010.
HOW IT HAPPENED
SET 1 (UM, 25-9): Michigan came out strong and was able to jump out in front, 6-1, early and forced an Iowa timeout. A big kill from Jones shortened the Wolverine lead to four. Two straight points for Iowa got the score to 9-5, in Michigan’s favor. The Wolverines were able to stay hot and extend their lead to nine as Iowa took their second timeout down 15-6. The Hawkeyes were able to get a few points here and there, but Michigan never lost control of the set and closed out in commanding fashion.
SET 2 (UM, 25-19): The Wolverines started the set with a 3-0 run, but Iowa was able to answer with three kills by three different Hawkeyes to tie the set. Michigan retook the lead and the Hawkeyes took their first timeout down, 8-4. Back-to-back kills from seniors Edina Schmidt and Jones cut the deficit to two. Michigan opened a run of four-straight points to extend their lead, 12-6. The next few points went back-and-forth as redshirt senior Jacqlyn Caspers recorded two kills to get the score to 15-11. Iowa took their second timeout down 21-13. Washington had three big kills towards the end of the set to stop the Michigan momentum, including one with Michigan at set point. The Wolverines were able to secure the second set victory on a kill.
SET 3 (Iowa, 25-18): Michigan was able to take advantage of some early Iowa errors to go up 3-1. The Hawkeyes were not going away though, they came back to take the lead, 5-4, on back-to-back kills by Jones. Two kills and a block assist from Washington put Iowa up three. Michigan called their first timeout of the match down, 10-6. The Wolverines came out of the timeout strong as they were able to record four of the next five points to cut their deficit to one. Iowa’s offense was ready with a response as it was able to get three-straight kills to further their lead, 15-11. The Hawkeyes were firing on all cylinders as they recorded back-to-back blocks to go up by six. Michigan was battling with Iowa but Washington’s timely kills kept the Hawkeye lead out of reach. A kill from junior Audrey Black secured the third-set victory for Iowa.
SET 4 (Iowa, 26-24): The fourth set opened evenly matched between the two teams as they were exchanging points. Michigan took a two-point lead after a 4-0 run, but the Hawkeyes responded with four straight of their own to take a 9-7 lead. Iowa took the first timeout of the set as the Wolverines took the lead, 12-9. The Hawkeyes were able to get a few points, but Michigan opened another run of three straight to take a five-point lead. A couple of Wolverine errors resulted in points for Iowa to make the score 17-13. The teams were going point-for-point in the later parts of the set as Iowa tried to battle back from a five-point deficit. A service ace from sophomore Michelle Urquhart got the Hawkeyes within three as Michigan took a timeout with their lead at 22-19. Back-to-back errors from the Wolverines opened the door for Iowa as they got within one. Michigan got to match point, and the Hawkeyes called a timeout. Kills from Black and Jones tied the set at 24, and Iowa took the lead, 25-24, on a hitting error from Michigan. Iowa’s defense stood strong as they secured the fourth set and evened the match at two apiece.
SET 5 (Iowa, 15-13): Iowa came out swinging and took the early lead, 3-1. A kill from sophomore Toyosi Onabanjo put the Hawkeyes, up 5-3. Midway through the set, Iowa’s lead was at four points after a 3-0 run, Michigan timeout. The Wolverines then went on to score three straight to get within one, 8-7, and the Hawkeyes called a timeout. It was a battle on the court as the teams were going point-for-point. Sophomore Addie VanderWeide’s athletic play kept a rally alive for Iowa to be able to secure a point on a block from Jones. Michigan called their second timeout with Iowa up five, 12-9. Michigan fought back as they got within two and forced Iowa to take their final timeout. A kill for the Wolverines tied the set at 13, but Onabanjo was ready with a kill of her own to get it to match point. The Hawkeyes were able to close out the set and secure the match.
HEAR FROM HEAD COACH JIM BARNES
“I am most proud of the players and how they have battled throughout the season. Tonight, we were down, but we pulled together and turned it around. I think you can see what we can be here at Iowa. We have had some great crowds this season, and in the Big Ten home court advantage is huge; we got a taste of what that feels like tonight.”
HEAR FROM NIA WASHINGTON
“We were doing whatever we could, and whatever it took to win that game. Everyone was all in and we were able to apply pressure to them instead of them applying pressure to us.”
The Hawkeyes head East Lansing, Michigan, on Saturday, Nov. 26 to take on Michigan State for their final match of the year. First Serve inside the Breslin Center is scheduled for 1 p.m. CT and will be live streamed on B1G+ (subscription required).