Aug. 28, 2010
IOWA CITY, Iowa - - The University of Iowa volleyball team defeated Southern Illinois in Day 2 of the 2010 Hawkeye Challenge, 3-2. The Hawkeyes trailed 2-0, but won the final three sets to claim the match. Iowa moves to 2-0 on the young season.
"Exciting game," said Head Coach Sharon Dingman. "The players never quit. They were against the wall many times tonight but they never quit. The attitude between sets and between points was amazing. The fans were just as impressive. The players said if we can get it to a fifth set our crowd will win this game. It was an exciting night."
Junior Mallory Husz (21) and senior Becky Walters (20) posted career-highs to lead the Iowa offense. Junior Paige Stevens matched a career high with 52 assists and freshman Bethany Yeager led the Hawkeyes with a career-best 23 digs.
Southern Illinois (1-1) captured the first set of the match, 25-23. The set went back-and-forth throughout with Iowa's largest lead coming midway through the set (18-15). After a Saluki timeout, they closed the set outscoring the Hawkeyes 10-6. Junior Megan Eskew paced the Black and Gold in the first set with four kills. Walters and Husz each recorded three kills in the set.
Southern Illinois carried its momentum into the second set, sprinting out to a 14-6 advantage. Iowa (2-0) responded by going on a 10-3 scoring run to cut the deficit to only one (17-16). The Salukis answered though, claiming the set, 25-22. Stevens led Iowa with six assists in the set and Husz recorded three kills and four blocks.
Trailing two sets to none, Iowa stormed back in a wild third set, winning by a 31-29 margin. The Hawkeyes ran out to an early 9-6 lead. Southern Illinois answered, taking six of the next seven points to gain a 12-10 advantage. The teams traded scoring runs and then Iowa responded, winning the set 31-29. Husz (seven) and Walters (five) led the Hawkeyes in kills while Stevens added 16 assists.
Walters and Iowa took over in set four. The Hawkeyes lost the first point but never trailed after that, winning 25-19. Walters paced Iowa with six kills while Husz added five of her own. Stevens recorded 14 assists.
In the decisive set, Iowa took an early 5-0 lead. With the Hawkeyes leading 10-4, the Salukis responded, winning 10 of the next 14 points to tie the set at 14. The Hawkeyes rallied, claiming three of the final four points to win the set and the match, 3-2. Walters finished the match with her 20th kills.
Iowa will host Green Bay Sunday in the third and final day of the 2010 Hawkeye Challenge. The match is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Southern Illinois and Alabama will compete in Game 1 at 11:30 a.m.