Aug. 29, 2014
By JIL PRICE
COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- The University of Iowa volleyball team earned its first win of the season Friday night in Texas A&M Invitational action. The Hawkeyes recorded a four-set victory over UTSA (1-1), evening their overall record 1-1.
"This was a good, long, hard day for us," head coach Bond Shymansky said. "Getting the wrinkles out and working off the nerves in the first match really helped us for the evening match with UTSA. I thought our group looked really sharp for the first two sets, and then we backed off in the third set and tried to settle in. We can't do that. We've got to keep the pedal to the metal and assert ourselves anytime we sense that we're taking over rhythm of the match.
"I'm really proud of our group. I told them at the end of the match when we huddled on the court, it's great to win. That's what we're here to do."
After a pair of service aces gave UTSA a 2-0 lead in set one, the Hawkeyes came on strong outscoring the Roadrunners 10 to four to pull ahead, 10-6. Five blocks and a Kaylee Smith serving clinic provided the push for Iowa. The Hawkeyes never surrendered their lead from there and closed out the opening set, 25-20.
Iowa seized the momentum in the second set using a 10-0 run to establish a significant 14-5 cushion. Michelle Fugarino led the rally from the service line with a pair of aces, while hitters Taylin Alm (three kills), Alex Lovell (three kills) and Alessandra Dietz (one kill) worked to put the ball on the floor. The Hawkeyes went on to record the second set win, 25-16, for a 2-0 lead heading into the break.
After falling behind in the third set, the Hawkeyes used a five-point run to take an 11-10 lead. The teams played through four lead changes and four tie scores before the Roadrunners recorded a 25-17 set win.
The Hawkeyes bounced back to take the fourth set and record the final 3-1 victory. Lovell led the charge with five kills, bringing her total to 15 in the match, a season-high. Jess Janota posted her second double-digit kill total of the day with 12 in the match, followed by Alm and Dietz who each posted eight.
"Jess Janota backed up another great performance, which was good," Shymansky said. "Alex Lovell was really strong out there for us in both front row and back row. I like how our younger players are learning, adapting and getting better. It was a good day for us."
Smith dished out a team-most 28 assists, Fugarino led the way with 26 digs and Michaela Gunderson paced the squad with nine blocks. The Hawkeyes out-did UTSA in blocks 16 to five and hitting percentage .286 to .137 in the match.
Iowa closes Texas A&M Tournament action with a match against Tulane at 12:30 p.m. (CT) in Reed Arena. The Green Wave enters the match with a 0-2 record.
|Iowa vs. UTSA||1st||2nd||3rd||4th|
| Kills: Lovell (IOWA) 15 | Runjic (UTSA) 13
|Assists: Smith (IOWA) 28 | Waldrip (UTSA) 35|
|Digs: Fugarino (IOWA) 26 | Kunes (UTSA) 15|