VALPARAISO, Ind. — In the battle of the unbeaten Hawkeyes and Crusaders, Valparaiso came out on top posting a 3-1 win over Iowa on Saturday evening. The loss gives Iowa a 5-1 overall mark, while Valparaiso (8-0) remains undefeated.
The Crusaders took the momentum early and held on to it for the remainder of set one to record the 25-19 win. Iowa put together a comeback with two Alex Lovell kills and a kill apiece from Erin Radke and Rachael Bedell but could only cut the deficit to three.
Iowa and Valparaiso went back and forth for the second set. The battle included 13 ties and three lead changes. The Hawkeyes used a three-point run, highlighted by an Alessandra Dietz and Radke block and a Kari Mueller service ace, to establish a lead. It held until the Crusaders used a run to tie it up 12-12. From there the teams traded ties and leads until Valparaiso used a three-point run to take a two set advantage over the Hawks.
Following the break, Iowa opened the third set with kills from Lovell and Dietz. Valparaiso rallied back take a lead but the Hawkeyes outscored the Crusaders 14 to eight to stake a five point lead. Once again, the Crusaders made a run to catch back up. From there, the teams went back and forth with seven ties until consecutive kills from Bedell and Julianne Blomberg solidified a 26-24 set victory for Iowa.
In the battle for the fourth set, each team endured 15 ties and eight lead changes, but it was Valparaiso that recorded the final set win 25-23, ending the match three sets to one in their favor.
Three recorded double-doubles in the match for Iowa, including Lovell (20 kills and 14 digs), Nikki Dailey (22 assists and 10 digs), and Alyssa Klostermann (24 assists and 16 digs). Dietz hit a team-high .333 and posted five blocks along with Lauren Brobst to pace the team.
The Hawkeyes finished second in the Valpo Popcorn Classic with a 2-1 record behind Valparaiso who went 4-0. Lovell and Dietz were named to the all-tournament team for their efforts.
Iowa is back in action at its own Hawkeye Challenge Sept. 13-14 in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Hawks open play with a noon match against Drake and a 7 p.m. match against Ball State on Friday, and close the weekend with a pair of Saturday matches against Western Illinois and UIC, slated for noon and 7 p.m., respectively.