Sept. 2, 2007
Greeley, CO - The University of Iowa volleyball team defeated host school Northern Colorado, 3-1 (28-30, 30-24, 30-24, 30-21) Saturday night in a hard fought match to close the Northern Colorado Tournament. The Hawkeyes finished the tournament with a 3-0 record to earn a share of the tournament championship.
Both the Hawkeyes and Florida Golf Coast finished with a 3-0 record and did not play each other over the weekend. Sophomore Megan Schipper and junior Laura Kremer were named to the all-tournament team.
Hawkeye fans nearly outnumbered Northern Colorado fans in Butler Hancock Hall. Junior captain Emily Hiza's hometown of Swink, CO is only three hours away from Greeley, and a large portion of the town made the trip dressed in gold shirts to cheer the Hawkeyes on to victory.
The Hawkeye offense shined in the win, recording a .348 hitting percentage. Redshirt freshman Becky Walters led the attack with a 13 kills and a .600 hitting percentage. Freshman Megan Eskew tallied a career-high 15 kills with a .355 hitting percentage. Kremer and Schipper each smacked 13 kills and hit at a .417 and .407 clip, respectively. Freshman Aimee Huffman also had a career-high 40 assists.
Game one remained close, with 12 ties and four lead changes. Northern Colorado eventually put the game away with a kill and took advantage of two Hawkeye errors to take a 1-0 lead.
Iowa took an early 10-4 lead in game two and never looked back, stretching the advantage to 25-19 after an Eskew kill. Back-to-back kills by Schipper set up game point and evened the match at one game a piece.
Northern Colorado took the first four points in game three, but a steady attack by Walters, Schipper and Kremer kept Iowa close. Kremer took a set from Kiley Fister and drilled it across the net to tie the score at 21-21. The Hawkeyes went on a 7-1 run to end the game and took a 2-1 lead.
Fister took control of the fourth game, serving the first 10 points of the game for a commanding 10-0 lead. The blocking team of Kremer, freshman Aimee Huffman, Walters and Schipper took over late in the match, blocking four shots to secure the win.
"I thought tonight our left side hitters and middle blockers were great," Head Coach Cindy Fredrick said. "That type of performance is exactly what we are looking for. We also need to credit our setters, they put our hitters in positions to make those type of plays."
"Tonight's match is the best we played all weekend, in terms of a competitive level," Fredrick said. "I was really happy to see Laura (Kremer) come alive. She will be important for us down the road. The level of competition will go up next weekend and these results are a great confidence booster."
The Hawkeyes travel to Des Moines next weekend to compete in the Drake Classic against Iowa State, Drake and LSU. Iowa opens the tournament against host school Drake at 7:30 p.m. Friday.