Hawkeye volleyball goes 2-1 on weekend

BY DI STAFF | SEPTEMBER 04, 2012 6:30 AM

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The welcome home party wasn’t everything Michigan natives Alex Lovell, Alessandra Dietz, and Erin Leppek had hoped for. Hawkeye volleyball went 2-1 over the weekend at the Golden Grizzly Invitational in Oakland, Mich., with the team’s lone loss coming in their last match.

Oakland, the tournament host, came back from a 0-2 set deficit to prevent the Hawkeyes from a perfect weekend and a tournament championship.

“We played some great volleyball this weekend,” head coach Sharon Dingman said. “We put ourselves in the position to win [the tournament], but we just fell short. We were disappointed to not win the championship.”

The Hawkeyes started the weekend with consecutive four-set wins over Eastern Illinois and Toledo before the letdown against Oakland. Iowa started with two set wins (25-22, 25-16) in that match, but then faltered after halftime. The Hawkeyes played well early, recording a .417 kill percentage in the first set. They followed that up with a strong second set, killing the ball at a .324 clip.

“Being up 2-0 and losing the match to Oakland was hard,” Dingman said. “We struggled to get kills. Also our inability to stop Oakland’s middle [blockers] hurt us.”

Oakland had two players register an above-.300 kill percentage. Taylor Humm killed the ball 20 times while hitting .308, and Brittany Holbrook recorded 14 kills while hitting .385. Those performances, coupled with the play of Meghan Bray who had 21 kills, doomed the Hawkeyes.

Dingman’s squad had four players with double-digit kills but was unable to hold off the late surge of the Golden Grizzlies.

Despite not capturing the tournament title, the weekend came with some recognition — the Hawkeyes had three players who made the all-tournament team. Juniors Rachael Bedell and Nikki Dailey and sophomore Lovell were honored. Lovell recorded 41 kills over the three matches, and Bedell totaled 38 kills and 28 digs. The team’s setter, Dailey, paced the Hawkeyes with 128 assists.

by Carlos Sosa

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