Iowa volleyball leaves Ames with 2-1 record on the weekend


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The Iowa volleyball team lost to the Cyclones in three sets last season, but this year the Hawkeyes prolonged the battle into a five-set thriller. Iowa hasn’t gone to five sets with the in-state rival since 2006.

“We spent an awful lot of energy to put ourselves in a position to win,” head coach Sharon Dingman said in a release. “I thought we performed poorly [Sept. 7] morning against Syracuse. To see us rally was nice, and I thought we played pretty well.”

The Hawkeyes (7-3) fell to the No. 18 Cyclones (5-4) in a hard-fought five set match (17-25, 13-25, 33-31, 25-19, 9-15).

Iowa started slowly against Iowa State. The Hawkeyes’ play was sloppy in the first half, and the Cyclones capitalized with an early 2-0 advantage.

“[Sets] one and two were terrific. After [set] two we came out thinking match was over,” Iowa State head coach Christy Johnson-Lynch said to Cyclones TV. “Iowa came out with a very different thought, which was ‘let’s play aggressive.’ That got us on our heels and shook us a little bit.”

An increased sense of urgency led the Hawkeyes to their third and fourth set rallies.

“We played hard and were just trying to play point by point, instead of set by set,” junior Rachael Bedell told The Daily Iowan. “We weren’t trying to rush anything. [But] it didn’t go our way at the end. ”

After playing poorly during the first two sets, the Hawkeyes were able to narrowly edge the Cyclones in a marathon third set, 33-31, that saw 13 ties, four lead changes, and six potential match points for Iowa State.

The Hawkeyes went on to win the fourth set, 25-19, to force a fifth and final set. However, they were unable to complete the comeback.

“We gave it our best shot tonight,” Dingman said in the same release. “We just could not get kills in the fifth set.”

The Iowa State contest was highlighted by the performances of two of the Iowa captains: Senior Allison Straumman and junior Nikki Dailey. Straumman, the lone senior on the team, recorded a career-high 11 digs, while Dailey registered her fifth double-double of the season with 43 assists and 17 digs.

The Hawkeyes, even with the loss to Iowa State, still finished the Iowa State Challenge Tournament with a 2-1 record. Iowa defeated Syracuse and Eastern Washington.

Iowa started off the tournament with another five-set match (16-25, 25-20, 20-25, 25-15, 15-11) against Syracuse.

Team captain Bethany Yeager led the Hawkeyes with 18 digs against the Orange. Dailey recorded another double-double with 35 assists and 11 digs. Sophomore hitter Alex Lovell paced the Hawkeyes with 14 kills, while Alessandra Dietz and Chante’ Thompson recorded 12 kills each.

The Hawkeyes capped off their weekend tournament with a three-set win over Eastern Washington (25-22, 26-24, 25-18).

Yeager moved to 8th all-time in digs in Iowa history with her 20-dig performance against Eastern Washington. Dailey meanwhile, added another double-double. She finished the match with 33 assists and 10 digs. Lovell led the team with 17 kills while also contributing 10 digs, while Bedell notched 12 kills.

After the second match against Iowa State, the Hawkeyes were focused on playing consistent volleyball against a lesser opponent.

“We tried to be consistent throughout the whole game [against Eastern Washington],” Bedell said. “It was one of the first times we played consistent and we played well obviously, finishing [Eastern Washington] in three games.”

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