SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The University of Iowa volleyball team defeated Cal Poly, 3-1, Friday night at the Sacramento State Invitational inside Yosemite Hall.
Redshirt junior Anna Davis returned to the court in her first match in a Hawkeye uniform, leading with a .389 hitting percentage, smashing eight to the ground on 18 attempts. Senior Caitlan Buettner also made her debut and posted her first double-double as a Hawkeye with 13 kills and 18 digs, and senior Delaney McSweeney added 10 kills and finished the match with a .333 hitting percentage and .476 kill percentage.
Senior Audrey Black registered career-high four aces. The assists were split by senior Bailey Ortega and freshman Kaia Mateo, tallying 20 and 16, respectively.
Iowa has won both of its season openers under head coach Jim Barnes.
“I loved our grit. For having a lot of new people on the team, we played like we’ve been together for a good while. We put a lot of pressure on Cal Poly, who is a really good team. I’m proud of how we finished every set, because we battled to the end.”Iowa Head Coach Jim Barnes
HOW IT HAPPENED
SET 1 (IOWA, 25-16): The Hawkeyes opened the first set with back-to-back points from McSweeney before the Mustangs took the next four. After that, the two teams exchanged points, tying at eight, nine, 10, 11, and 12. Iowa then started to pull away with a pair of kills from Davis and Buettner and an ace from Black, leading 16-13. The teams exchanged points once again as Mateo registered a kill, and the Hawkeyes capitalized on an attacking error from Cal Poly, expanding their lead, 19-15. The Mustangs tallied their last point of the set with the score at 19-16 as Iowa closed, winning the next six possessions.
SET 2 (IOWA, 25-23): It was back-and-forth to start the second set, trading a couple points each. With kills from junior Michelle Urquhart, Davis, Black, and Buettner, the Hawkeyes went up, 7-5. Buettner put an end to a six-point run from the Mustangs with a kill assisted by senior Bailey Ortega. The two teams went back and forth again before the Hawkeyes found their own run and took the lead, 14-13. The battle continued, but once Iowa took the lead at 17-16, they stayed atop. With a 19-16 Iowa lead, the Mustangs took a timeout and swapped points with the Hawkeyes, closing the gap to 20-19. An error and consecutive kills from sophomore Nataly Moravec added cushion to Iowa’s lead, 23-19. The Mustangs trimmed Iowa’s lead to 24-23 but McSweeney closed with a kill assisted by Ortega.
SET 3 (Cal Poly, 27-25): Throughout the entire third set, the teams exchanged points without allowing either more than three-consecutive points. They went point-for-point to start the set before Iowa jumped in front with a 7-3 lead. The back and forth continued until Cal Poly went on a three-point run of its own, pulling close with Iowa up, 12-11. Following three-consecutive points from Cal Poly and the Mustangs taking their first lead of the set at 18-17, Iowa called timeout and retaliated with another three-point run to pull ahead, 20-18. The two teams tied five times before the Mustangs were able to pull out their only winning set of the match.
SET 4 (IOWA, 25-12): The Hawkeyes pulled out front, 8-3, with the help of two Mustang errors and a pair of kills from Buettner and Davis before Cal Poly called its first timeout of the set. The teams swapped no more than two points at a time as the score added up to 15-11, Iowa. A kill from Buettner and an ace from Black called for a timeout from the Mustangs, but Black served up an ace and took advantage of two more errors before Cal Poly scored its last point of the match with Iowa ahead, 20-12. A couple of errors, a kill from Davis, and two from Urquhart sealed the match for the Hawkeyes. Iowa commanded the floor, allowing Cal Poly to score back-to-back points only twice throughout the set, while the Hawkeyes went on runs of four or more, three times.
HEAR FROM JUNIOR ANNA DAVIS ON HER RETURN
“It’s been a long journey, but I’m really grateful for everything along the way and every moment. Watching last year and everything, it took just makes me even more grateful to be here, back on the court, with my team.”
The Hawkeyes take on the Sacramento State Hornets in the Sacramento State Invitational on Saturday at 9 p.m. (CT) on Colberg Court at The Nest inside Yosemite Hall.