STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – University of Iowa volleyball’s senior setter Bailey Ortega reached the 2,000 career-assists milestone on Friday night as the Hawkeyes took on the No. 11 Penn State Nittany Lions. Iowa fell, 0-3.
Ortega posted her 20th assist of the match as Iowa tied the third set at four-all, making her the 10th Hawkeye to reach 2,000 career assists. She finished the match with 26 assists.
“I’m really excited to be hitting this milestone with the girls that are on my team,” Ortega said of her accomplishment. “I wouldn’t be able to get an assist if it weren’t for the passers giving me a good ball and if it weren’t for my hitters putting it down. I’m really appreciative that this team is so supportive of me and loves me as much as I love them. I’m just really grateful that this is the team that I got to do it with.”
Redshirt senior Delaney McSweeney led the Hawkeyes with nine kills and a .444 clip. Fifth year Caitlan Buettner followed with eight kills, while tallying 10 digs. Redshirt sophomore Sydney Dennis led with 11 digs. Redshirt freshman Nataly Moravec tied her career-best with three service aces.
2k for No. 12 🌟
— Iowa Volleyball (@IowaVolleyball) October 21, 2023
HOW IT HAPPENED
SET 1 (Penn St., 25-19): Iowa came out strong, scoring the first two points of the set with a kill from Buettner assisted by Ortega and an error from Penn State. Scoring went back and forth with six ties as McSweeney and senior Audrey Black posted a block with the score eight-all. The set stayed evenly matched as redshirt freshman Moravec served an ace to tie it up at 14. Penn State pulled ahead while Iowa kept fighting back, but ultimately the Nittany Lions came out with the set win.
SET 2 (Penn St., 25-19): Penn State continued its momentum to start the second set, but McSweeney was ready to answer with a kill, an assisted block with Black, and a solo block to put the Hawkeyes within three. Scoring once again went back and forth before Iowa went on a 5-1 run. Redshirt junior Anna Davis and Moravec put up a wall to give Iowa the ball and junior Michelle Urquhart took advantage with an ace. The Nittany Lions scored once between, but Davis registered a kill and Moravec followed Urquhart’s lead and posted two aces, putting Iowa down one, 10-9. It was cat and mouse as the Hawkeyes saw kills from McSweeney (3), Buettner (2), Davis, and Moravec, but Penn State took the second set.
SET 3 (Penn St., 25-17): Iowa took the lead early, 3-1, with a kill from McSweeney, a Penn State hitting error, and an ace from Buettner. Penn State retaliated and pulled ahead. The Hawkeyes weren’t going down without a fight, battling back to get within three as Ortega, Buettner, McSweeney, Urquhart, and Moravec posted kills. The Nittany Lions continued with force and finished out the set and match victorious.
The Hawkeyes head to College Park, Maryland, tomorrow to take on the Terrapins inside XFINITY Center Pavilion at 6 p.m. (CT) on B1G+ (subscription required).