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Early successes for Hawkeye volleyball, soccer teams

The University of Iowa women's soccer team defeated Central Michigan, 1-0, on Sunday.

The University of Iowa women's soccer team defeated Central Michigan, 1-0, on Sunday.

Aug. 30, 2010

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    IOWA CITY, Iowa -- While University of Iowa football kicks off the season Saturday inside Kinnick Stadium, two Hawkeye teams are celebrating undefeated performances from the weekend of Aug. 27-29. UI volleyball went 3-0 and won the Hawkeye Challenge and UI soccer went 2-0 in the Iowa Tournament.

    "It feels really good; it's momentum we need as we continue through the competitions before the Big Ten season," UI head volleyball coach Sharon Dingman said this morning on This Week `On Iowa.' "To start 3-0 is good, and more importantly, I loved the way we competed."

    "We had a great week of practice and it led into some good results," UI head soccer coach Ron Rainey said.

    It is the second year in a row that the Hawkeyes opened a season with three straight wins. At the Hawkeye Challenge, they defeated Alabama (3-1), Southern Illinois (3-2) and Green Bay (3-0). After losing the first two sets to Southern Illinois on Aug. 28, Dingman said the crowd of 1,200 lifted her team in the third set.

    "We looked like we were sleeping a little bit and the crowd got going as we got going and helped us carry the momentum into the rest of the match," Dingman said. "Our players comment on how nice it is to play in front of the Carver fans. They are important to our success."





    "We looked like we were sleeping a little bit and the crowd got going as we got going and helped us carry the momentum into the rest of the match. Our players comment on how nice it is to play in front of the Carver fans. They are important to our success."
    UI head volleyball coach Sharon Dingman


    Four Hawkeyes received all-tournament recognition, highlighted by MVP Mallory Husz (36 kills, 12 blocks). Other players from the UI honored were Megan Eskew (29 kills), Becky Walters (41 kills) and freshman libero Bethany Yeager.

    "The person I saw grow the most was Bethany Yeager," Dingman said. "That's a huge responsibility to be the libero and then to be a freshman libero -- she had never been in a college match before and didn't know what to expect. She looked more comfortable every match we played so it is really promising. Paige Stevens, our setter, settled down and started to feel her way through running the offense consistently."

    Yeager compiled 63 digs in three matches and Stevens, who started just twice as a sophomore in 2009, handed out 124 assists.

    The Hawkeyes are at the St. Louis Tournament on Sept. 3-4 before hosting Iowa State on Friday, Sept. 10.

    The soccer team dropped its season-opener Aug. 20 against DePaul, 2-0, but rebounded with shutout victories against Northern Illinois (2-0 on Aug. 27) and Central Michigan (1-0 on Aug. 29). Central Michigan had gone 20 straight regular-season matches without a loss, dating back to Sept. 6, 2009.

    "That was our best game to date defensively with our back four and then our overall team defense from 11," Rainey said.

    Gabrielle Ainsworth, Alyssa Cosnek and Dana Dalrymple scored goals, with Dalrymple (Northern Illinois) and Cosnek (Central Michigan) netting the game-winners. Leah DeMoss had two assists and Jade Grimm added another.

    "I believe our seniors and captains -- Mandy Heimann, Jenna Aleo and Kali Feiereisel -- and our other seniors have done a nice job bringing the freshmen and sophomores along and giving them confidence to show on the field," Rainey said.

    UI keeper Emily Moran played all 180 minutes with five saves and two shutouts.

    "I hope she takes away that she played simply," Rainey said. "She did a lot of things within herself and she trusted her defenders to do their job. If you do that as a goalkeeper, you can sit back and make the saves that you have to and also talk and communicate so you can deny a bunch of shots as well."

    The Hawkeyes are on the road until Thursday, Sept. 23, when they host Minnesota.