Sept. 4, 2010
ST. LOUIS - It wasn't easy, but the University of Iowa volleyball team captured its second tournament championship in as many weekends by topping Saint Louis, 3-2, tonight at the Marcia E. Hamilton Active Ankle Challenge. Freshman Bethany Yeager earned tournament MVP honors after averaging 5.3 digs per set in the three-game challenge. Junior Mallory Husz was also named to the all-tournament team after totaling a team-high 16 kills in the championship match.
Iowa (5-1) battled from a 2-1 set deficit by dominating the fourth frame and rallying in the rubber set. After a decisive 25-10 fourth set victory, Iowa fell behind the Bills 5-0 in the fifth set. Just as it appeared Iowa may not be able to steal its second five-set win of the day, Husz strung together a pair of blocks to spark a Hawkeye rally that eventually tied the frame, 7-7. The junior struck again with a kill and a block to give Iowa a 9-8 lead and the Hawkeyes never looked back. Two kills from Tiffany Nilges and setter dump by Nikki Dailey helped Iowa finish the final frame with a 15-11 set victory and 3-2 match win.
"It feels great to win another championship," said Head Coach Sharon Dingman. "The way we won this one makes it even better. There is no give-up on this team and it's a testament to the way each player committed themselves in the offseason. It's going to be hard for us to win, but we're going to be awfully hard to beat."
Walters served up the match's first point by acing the Billikens on the opening serve, but Saint Louis won 12 of the next 16 points to take an early lead in set one. Iowa battled back to tie the set, 18-18, behind a pair of Husz kills, but the Billikens finished the set on a7-2 run to win the opener, 20-25.
The Hawkeyes appropriately knotted the match, 1-1, with second set victory that featured 13 ties. The teams traded scores from points 17-23 before back-to-back kills from Lauren Friedman and Megan Eskew gave Iowa a hard-earned 25-23 win. Eskew and Husz combined for nine kills in the frame and Chante' Thompson recorded a clutch kill in her first action of the weekend.
|Iowa at Saint Louis||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||5th|
|Saint Louis (2-4)||25||23||25||10||11|
| Kills: Mallory Husz (UI) 16 | Deno (SLU) 22
|Assists: Paige Stevens (UI) 23 | Kvitle (SLU) 47|
|Digs: Bethany Yeager (UI) 22 | Bonoma (SLU) 23|
Saint Louis (2-4) led the third set from start to finish to take a 2-1 match lead. After the Bills took an early 2-0 advantage, the teams battled until Iowa pulled within one point, 9-8, behind consecutive kills from Friedman and Eskew. Saint Louis then caught fire and finished the set on a 16-5 run en route to the 25-13 victory.
The Hawkeyes turned the tables on the Bills with a dominating 25-10 victory in the fourth frame. The teams battled to ties at one, two, three and five before the set quickly turned into the Becky Walters' variety show. The Parkersburg native sparked a Hawkeye rally by slamming three straight kills to give Iowa a 10-5 lead. A couple Saint Louis errors, an Eskew kill and a pair of Walters service aces eventually stretched the Hawkeye lead to 19-7. Iowa sealed the 25-10 win with a flurry of Husz kills and a Tiffany Nilges attack point that set up the dramatic and final set.
Iowa returns to action Friday night to host Iowa State at 7 p.m. inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The match will serve as the first event of the seventh annual Hy-Vee Cy-Hawk Series.