Team Effort Leads Iowa over No. 16 Michigan
Nov. 13, 2010
IOWA CITY, Iowa - The University of Iowa volleyball team used 11 kills apiece from Becky Walters and Rachael Bedell to top No. 16 Michigan, 3-1, tonight inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Hawkeyes rallied from a one-set deficit to bury their 12 game skid and pull off their first win over a ranked opponent in 13 months.
Iowa's Mallory Husz, who sat out the opening frame nursing a shoulder injury, came off the bench in the second frame and was one of five Hawkeyes with at least five kills. Husz added nine kills while Megan Eskew and Tiffany Nilges recorded five kills each. Paige Stevens recorded her team-best eighth double-double of the season, finishing with a team-high 24 assists and 13 digs.
"I'm really proud of how we played and I'm really happy for the Hawkeyes," said Head Coach Sharon Dingman. "We've had our problems executing, but tonight I thought we executed really well and I'm really happy for these players. Everyone played well, but I thought our blocking was tremendous. Everybody contributed at the net."
The Hawkeyes dominated the defensive side of the net, recording 15.5 total blocks to Michigan's four. Walters finished with eight blocks and Bedell added five.
In a back-and-forth opening set, the Hawkeyes came out strong with the match's first two points behind a block by Bedell and Walters and a Wolverine service error. Michigan answered with seven of the next eight points to take a 7-3 lead before Iowa rallied with a 7-2 run to take a 13-12 edge. Michigan was able to halt the Hawkeye rally and went on to outscore Iowa 13-7 to steal the opening frame, 25-20.
The second set featured 17 ties and five lead changes as the Hawkeyes were able to pull through with a dramatic 25-23 victory. Iowa took their first lead of the set with consecutive kills from Walters to take an 8-6 advantage. Neither team would lead by two points again until the final play, when Walters and Paige Stevens came up with a block to give Iowa the set victory. Michigan had the set tied at 23-23, but Mallory Husz came up with a kill to set up the set-winning block from Walters and Stevens. Husz had five kills in the set, four of them came in Iowa's final six points.
A block from Rachael Bedell gave Iowa a 4-3 lead in the third set, and the Black and Gold never looked back from there. Consecutive points from Iowa forced a Michigan timeout with a 15-10 Hawkeye lead. Michigan would later put a scare into the Hawkeyes, scoring three consecutive points off of a timeout to pull within one, 22-21. Iowa then jumped out to a 24-22 lead to force match-point before Bedell pulled through with a kill to give Iowa the 25-22 win and a 2-1 match advantage.
The fourth set followed suit of the previous two frames, as a Hawkeye win came down to the wire yet again. A kill by Nikki Dailey gave Iowa an 11-7 lead, forcing a Wolverine timeout. The Wolverines then went on a 7-3 run to tie the set at 14-14. The Hawkeyes would earn a 22-20 lead on a Walters kill, and both teams would alternate scoring points on the next five plays until the score reached 24-23. With the announced crowd of 1,132 on their feet, Husz came up with a kill from an assist by Dailey, giving Iowa the set and the 3-1 match victory.
"Winning over losing feels great," added Dingman. "I feel like this could be the first night where everyone contributed to the win. Everyone played well."
The Hawkeyes return to action Nov. 19 when they visit Champaign, Ill. to face the Fighting Illini at 7:00 p.m. (CT).