Oct. 19, 2013
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- It took five sets to decide the victor on Saturday night in Carver-Hawkeye Arena, but it was the University of Iowa volleyball team that prevailed. The Hawkeyes defeated Indiana in five sets, 3-2, to secure their first Big Ten Conference win of the 2013 season.
Iowa evens its overall record at 10-10 with the win and moves to 1-7 in conference action, while Indiana falls to 8-11 overall and 0-8 in Big Ten play.
The Hawkeye offense outscored the Hoosiers 5-1 to stake an early advantage in set one. Kills from Alessandra Dietz, Rachael Bedell, Lauren Brobst, and Alex Lovell provided the Iowa push. Additional kills from Brobst and Lovell extended the Hawkeye advantage to 7-3 before Indiana used a four-point drive to even the match at seven apiece.
Two ties followed before Iowa used a five-point rally to pull ahead. The Hawkeyes led by as much as eight en route to their 25-22 set one victory. Iowa out-hit Indiana .212 to .108, and Lovell's five kill effort paced the squad.
Iowa and Indiana were neck and neck in the second set, which included 13 ties and three lead changes. The set was either tied or in favor of the Hoosiers until Iowa used a four-point run to take its first lead of the second set. A Lovell kill, a Bedell and Erin Leppek block, and a Bedell kill fueled the drive, which pushed Iowa ahead, 14-12.
The Hoosiers fought their way back to tie it up five additional times before the Hawkeyes used a Bedell kill and Nikki Dailey service ace to win the second set, 25-23, and take a 2-0 advantage heading into the break.
Indiana returned to the court on a mission and recorded wins over the Hawkeyes in the third set, 25-20, and the fourth set, 25-19, to force a fifth set.
The Hawkeyes and Hoosiers battled it out for the fifth, deciding set, which contained six ties and two lead changes. Iowa used a pair of Bedell kills and blocks from Dietz and Bedell and Brobst and Leppek to take a 5-4 advantage early, before Indiana responded with a four-point drive to take the lead. A Bedell kill followed to knot the set, but the Hoosiers used another run to regain a slight advantage.
Trailing Indiana by two at match point, 14-12, the Hawkeye offense used a four-point surge, fueled by a pair of Bedell kills and one from Leppek, to take the fifth set, 16-14, and the match, 3-2. Iowa recorded a .364 hitting percentage in the final set.
"Perseverance was our theme for tonight and part of that is finishing," head coach Sharon Dingman said. "We finished tonight and that was great to see. We've been here one other time, and we couldn't do it.
"It feels good. We play hard enough to win a lot of matches. We just haven't executed in the end. Tonight we did. So, that's a sign of growth and maturity. It's appropriate to get rewarded with a win when you work that hard. We still have some issues behind the service line we're going to need to fix before we get on the road, but we played a really good match, as did Indiana."
Bedell paced the Iowa offense with a season-high 22 kills, while Lovell added 20 kills, which makes her just eight kills shy of reaching the 1,000 career kills milestone. Dailey earned her seventh double-double of the season with 31 assists and 13 digs, and Lovell picked up her 10th double-double adding 11 digs to her 20-kill performance.
The Hawkeyes hit the road for a pair of Big Ten matches beginning with a midweek contest at Nebraska on Wednesday, Oct. 23. The 6:30 p.m. CT match will be aired on the Big Ten Network. Iowa wraps up its trip with a match at Penn State on Saturday, Oct. 26. First serve is slated for 6 p.m. CT.