CORALVILLE, Iowa — University of Iowa volleyball fell to Rutgers, 3-2, Friday evening inside Xtream Arena in Coralville, Iowa.
Caitlan Buettner led the way for the Hawkeyes with 13 kills. Anna Davis followed closely behind, posting 12 kills and hitting at a percentage of .375. Kaia Mateo led the team in assists with 26, and Sydney Dennis registered a team high on the night with 24 digs.
Set 1 (Rutgers, 25-21): Rutgers came out with motivation, securing the first three points. Davis and Buettnerquickly put up a pair of kills for the Hawkeyes. The Scarlet Knights went on an offensive run, but freshman Rosa Vesty responded by putting down a kill. Iowa trailed behind but did not back down, as Bailey Ortegaassisted Delaney McSweeney for a kill out of the middle. A couple of Rutgers errors lessened the spread to one. Vesty put down another kill before Rutgers went on another offensive run. The Hawkeyes then went on a 4-0 run. Toward the end of the set, McSweeney registered back-to-back kills, helping the Hawkeyes close the gap. At match point, Rutgers posted a kill and won the set.
Set 2 (IOWA, 25-21): The Hawkeyes posted the first point thanks to a Rutgers error. The two teams battled back-and-forth from the get-go, tying at one, two, and then again at four after Ortega went back to serve an ace. The Scarlet Knights went on an offensive run early. The set remained close throughout, and Michelle Urquhart brought it to a tie again at 13 after serving an ace. Both teams fought to keep the lead, but the set came to a tie again at 14, 16, and 17. Then, the Hawkeyes jumped ahead by three thanks to a pair of kills by McSweeney and an ace by Buettner. Iowa held the lead toward the end of the set, but a 3-0 run by Rutgers closed the gap and brought the score within one. The teams were neck-and-neck at the end, 24-24, until Iowa secured the last two points and the set.
Set 3 (IOWA, 25-21): Vesty and Nataly Moravec shut down a Rutgers kill attempt to post the first point of the set. The Hawkeyes continued the momentum with a Vesty kill and an ace by Moravec. The Scarlet Knights tried to catch the Hawkeyes early, but the Hawkeyes kept the lead. McSweeney and Moravec teamed up at the net to register a block. Moravec recorded a pair of kills to increase the Hawkeye lead to three. Rutgers met Iowa at 10, and then tied it up again at 11. The Scarlet Knights then pushed ahead, but Iowa fought to keep it close. Iowa kept the spread within two for six possessions. Coming out of a timeout, Ortega put one up for Vesty to put down. Iowa continued to climb back to Rutgers and tied it at 20. A 5-0 Hawkeye run brought Iowa ahead, 23-20. Following a pair of kills, the Hawkeyes clinched the third set.
Set 4 (Rutgers, 25-21): Rutgers came out swinging, recording four kills. Vesty stopped their run by posting a solo block. Iowa continued the momentum and went on an offensive run, quickly catching the Scarlet Knights at four. Rutgers took a small lead, but McSweeney responded by putting down a kill from the middle. The set remained close, tying consecutively at points seven through nine. McSweeney and Moravec paired up at the net to post a block. Rutgers held the lead, but a Rutgers error and an ace by Moravec lessened the gap. McSweeney and Buettner stood strong at the net to shut down a Rutgers kill attempt. Iowa tried to catch the Scarlet Knights but fell short and Rutgers landed on top.
Set 5 (Rutgers, 15-9): Rutgers took the first point, but Iowa quickly met them at one. Ortega assisted Moravec for a kill early in the set. Rutgers went on an offensive run, until a solo block by Davis put the ball back in the Hawkeye’s hands. Iowa held Rutgers at six points for five possessions until tying it up. Moravec served an ace to give Iowa the lead. The Scarlet Knights jumped ahead until Buettner put down a kill. Although Rutgers kept the lead, Davis continued to fight for Iowa and posted a kill. The Scarlet Knights continued pushing ahead and won the last two points, securing the set and the match.
The Hawkeyes return to Xtream Arena to play on Saturday, Oct. 28 against Maryland. First serve is scheduled for 8 p.m. CT on B1G Network.