Hawkeyes Shock No. 12 Purdue, 3-0
Oct. 6, 2012
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- The University of Iowa volleyball team swept No. 12 Purdue on Saturday night (25-23, 25-23, 25-18) in Holloway Gymnasium on the campus of Purdue University to win its second-straight Big Ten match. The Hawkeyes won at Indiana on Friday night in four sets.
The victory marks Iowa's first win at Purdue and first sweep of the Boilermakers since Nov. 10, 2000, when the Hawkeyes won in straight sets. It also marks the fourth win over a ranked foe for head coach Sharon Dingman, and her first victory over a ranked team on the road. No. 12 Purdue is the highest-ranked team the Hawkeyes have defeated during her tenure. In addition, it marks the first time Iowa has won two-straight league contests since 2008 and consecutive league road matches since 2005.
"This is huge for Iowa volleyball," said Dingman. "We are going to enjoy every bit of it, but we need to take momentum and confidence from it. Winning last night, the way we did in four sets, on the road, gave our team a lot of confidence. It was a great weekend for the Hawkeyes."
The win improves the Hawkeyes' record to 10-9 overall and 2-4 in Big Ten play; the Boilermakers fall to 13-4 and 4-2 in league action.
Nikki Dailey paced Iowa with a match-high 37 assists. The junior passes Jitka Stehnova for sixth all-time in program history with 2,174 in her career. Junior Rachael Bedell recorded her sixth double-double of the season with 11 kills and 13 digs. Sophomore Alex Lovell paced all players with a career-best 24 kills. Junior Bethany Yeager registered a match-high 15 digs. The Hawkeyes turned in a season-high .291 hitting percentage, while limiting Purdue to .212.
"We played so well," said Dingman. "We followed our game plan to perfection tonight. The players deserved this win more than anything. Bethany was amazing. She was unbelievable. Our outsides played amazing. Chante' (Thompson), (Alessandra) Dietz and (Erin) Leppek all played great. Our entire team played really good volleyball. We had Purdue really off balance. Ben (Boldt) and Jason (Allen) did a great job scouting Purdue and coming up with a great game plan."
The Hawkeyes came out swinging in the opening set, grabbing a 12-9 lead to force a Purdue timeout. Iowa extended its lead to four points at 14-10. The Boilermakers then used a 6-2 run to even the score at 16-16. The Hawkeyes answered and forced Purdue's second timeout, leading 20-18. Iowa used its first timeout of the frame after three-straight Boilermaker points. Trailing 21-20, the visitors won three consecutive points to grab a 23-21 lead. The teams exchanged points, giving Iowa set point at 24-22. Following a kill by Ariel Turner of Purdue, Lovell responded for the Hawkeyes with a set-winning kill. She hit .357 in the frame and, along with Bedell, the pair paced all with six kills. Dailey turned in a set-best 16 assists and Yeager notched a set-high six digs. Iowa out-hit the Boilermakers, .282 to .265.
The visitors silenced the Purdue crowd of over 2,600 to open the second set. The home team used a timeout six points into the frame, trailing Iowa, 5-1. The Boilermakers won nine of the next 13 points to force a Hawkeye timeout, leading 10-9. Trailing 19-16, Iowa scored six points in a row to grab a 22-19 lead. Purdue won the next three points to tie the frame, 22-22. Kills by Chante' Thompson and Lovell gave Iowa set point at 24-22. The Boilermakers used a Turner kill to cut their deficit to one, but a Purdue attack error gave the Hawkeyes their second-consecutive 25-23 set victory and a 2-0 match lead. Dailey and Yeager turned in set-bests, with 11 assists and seven digs, respectively. Lovell paced Iowa with eight kills. For the second time in as many sets, the Hawkeyes registered a higher attack percentage, .163 to .119.
Following the intermission, Iowa continued its stellar play, running out to a 5-0 lead in the third game. The Hawkeyes extended their lead to seven and forced a Purdue timeout at 15-8. Iowa maintained the lead throughout the frame on its way to a 25-18 set victory and the sweep of the Boilermakers. Lovell led the way again for the visitors, tallying 10 kills. Dailey recorded 10 assists and Bedell added five digs. All three recorded set-bests. The visitors dominated the final frame, hitting .444, while never trailing.
"We have three games at home coming up and we want momentum," said Dingman. "We have to take momentum from this. It is a long season, but we are going to celebrate this win."
Iowa returns to action next weekend in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes host No. 10 Minnesota on Friday night and Wisconsin on Saturday night. Both matches will begin at 7 p.m. (CT) on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.