Nov. 2, 2013
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Illinois took three sets from the University of Iowa volleyball team to sweep the Hawkeyes, 3-0, in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Saturday night. The Hawkeyes fall to 10-14 overall and 1-11 in Big Ten following the loss, while the Fighting Illini move to 10-12 overall and 6-6 in conference action.
Illinois opened the match with a five-point run to stake an advantage, and never gave it up en route to its 25-16 set one win. The Hawkeyes used a pair of Rachael Bedell kills, a kill from Alex Lovell, and combination blocks by Alessandra Dietz and Lovell and Lauren Brobst and Lovell to get within four of the Fighting Illini, but could not close the gap.
To begin the second set, Nikki Dailey gave Iowa its first lead of the night with a service ace. The Hawkeyes battled early in the set with a Bedell kill and service ace and a Dietz kill which knotted the set, 5-5. Illinois reacted with a six-point rally to pull ahead.
Iowa fought back, outscoring Illinois 6-3, to cut the deficit down to three. Two kills from Lovell, a pair of Alyssa Klostermann service aces, and an Erin Leppek kill provided the Hawkeye push. Illinois rallied back to establish a 10-point advantage, and withstood a late Iowa scoring drive to record the second set win, 25-21.
The Fighting Illini closed out the match victory with a 25-18 third set win. Illinois out-hit Iowa .171 to -.048 in the match.
"It's going to be tough for us to win when we hit negative," head coach Sharon Dingman said. "Our offense is really struggling right now. As coaches, we have to do a better job and help our hitters get more kills and develop more shots.
"When the offense sputters like this, I think it goes back on the coaches training the hitters to hit different shots and get them in a position that they can hit them."
Leading the Iowa offense with seven kills apiece were Bedell and Lovell. Bethany Yeager paced the team in digs with 16, and Dailey earned a double-double with a team-most 10 assists and 10 digs. Dietz recorded a team-high four blocks.
The Hawkeyes continue the Big Ten season with a pair of matches on the road next weekend. Iowa will face Minnesota at 7 p.m. CT on Friday, Nov. 8 and Wisconsin at 1 p.m. CT on Sunday, Nov. 10. Both matches will be covered by the Big Ten Digital Network and available for fans to watch on BTN.com and through the BTN2Go application.