EAST LANSING, Mich. — University of Iowa volleyball fell to Michigan State, 3-0, Saturday evening inside Breslin Center.
Redshirt senior Delaney McSweeney and freshman Gabby Deery led the way for the Hawkeyes, posting eight kills a piece. Senior Bailey Ortega registered team high assists at 14 on the night. Ortega and sophomore Harlei Cole each recorded six digs.
Set 1 (Michigan State, 25-11): The Spartans came out strong with a couple of kills. Ortega quickly responded, posting a kill herself to put Iowa on the board. The set tied early at two, and remained close. Deery put down a kill to tie the set again at three. Michigan State held a small lead, and Iowa fought to close the gap. Redshirt junior Anna Davis recorded a kill coming out of a Hawkeye timeout. The Spartans pushed ahead, but Iowa continued to battle. The Hawkeyes took advantage of a Spartan error to lessen the spread to three. A bit later, freshman Kaia Mateo added a kill. Michigan State went on an offensive run, and Iowa was unable to recover. The Spartans took the first set.
Set 2 (Michigan State, 25-21): Iowa clinched the first point thanks to a kill by Deery, and McSweeney also registered a kill early in the set. Scoring stayed tight throughout the beginning. Iowa capitalized on a Spartan error to bring the set within one. Mateo assisted McSweeney, posting a kill, and shortly after, Ortega assisted Deery for another Hawkeye kill. Michigan State stretched the lead later on, but the Hawkeyes kept swinging. Redshirt freshman Nataly Moravec added a kill to the board for Iowa and brought the spread to four. Michigan State continued to push ahead, but fifth year Caitlan Buettner battled back with a kill, along with McSweeney a few rallies later. Towards the end of the set, the two teams exchanged kills. The Hawkeyes came back from a six-point deficit to make it a one-point game, but the Spartans ended the set on top.
Set 3 (Michigan State, 25-22): The Spartans came out with momentum. Iowa took advantage of a Spartan error to put a point on the board. McSweeney responded to a Michigan State kill with a kill of her own. Davis also posted a kill for the Hawkeyes early in the set, thanks to an assist by Ortega. The two teams exchanged kills, and the set remained tight. Freshman Rosa Vesty and Deery recorded back-to-back kills for the Hawkeyes and put them ahead by two. Iowa held the lead for a few possessions until the Spartans caught them at eight. Michigan State overturned the lead, but Iowa continued to battle. The set came to a tie at 18 after a kill by Moravec, and then consecutively at points 19 through 22. Michigan State took the last few points of the set and won the match.
The Hawkeyes return to Xtream Arena on Friday, Nov. 10, hosting Illinois. First serve is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT on B1G+ (subscription required).