Husz Leads Iowa to Tournament Championship
Aug. 29, 2010
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa volleyball team captured the Hawkeye Challenge tournament championship Sunday afternoon with a straight-set win over Green Bay. Senior Becky Walters led the Iowa offense with 16 kills while junior Paige Stevens dished 31 assists. Freshman Bethany Yeager picked up 21 digs en route to earning all-tournament honors. Junior Mallory Husz was named tournament MVP after tallying 36 kills and 20 blocks in the three-game tournament.
"First of all let me say it's great to win a tournament championship in front of our fans," said Head Coach Sharon Dingman. "We always enjoy playing at Carver-Hawkeye Arena and I'm glad we were able to pull out the victory. We had a long night last night so we knew today would be a challenge, but the team pulled together again and got the job done."
After both teams were evenly paced in the opening portion of the first set, the Hawkeyes pulled away in the clutch to knock off Green Bay 25-19. The Phoenix held a 15-13 advantage at one point, but Iowa ended the set on an 8-4 run. Husz and Walters had five kills in the opening set, while Paige Stevens added 12 assists and Yeager had ten digs.
Iowa opened the second set in a fury, as a block from Tiffany Nilges gave the Hawkeyes a 9-1 run to begin the set. The Phoenix never answered back, as Iowa took a decisive 25-12 advantage to open the match with a two-set lead. Walters again paced the Hawkeyes with five kills, while the Iowa attack forced eight errors from Green Bay. Junior Megan Eskew had back-to-back service aces in the set, and Chante' Thompson came off the bench to add three kills.
The third set provided a little more challenge for the Hawkeyes, as Green Bay opened a 15-10 advantage to keep their hopes alive. Iowa battled back to tie the game at 18-18 on a block from Eskew, and with Iowa holding a 24-22 lead, Walters slammed the door shut on the Phoenix with a kill on match-point.
Stevens gave Iowa 13 assists to lead the way, while Walters added six kills and Yeager had six digs. Iowa held Green Bay to a .092 attack percentage on the day.
Iowa had four players named to the all-tournament team following the contest as Eskew, Walters, Yeager and Husz each received honors. The Hawkeyes return to action next week at the Marcia E. Hamilton Active Ankle Challenge in St. Louis, Mo. Iowa opens tournament play against Wake Forest Friday, Sept. 3 on the campus of Saint Louis University.