EVANSTON, Ill. — University of Iowa volleyball dropped to 9-5 overall and 0-2 in Big Ten play after falling to Northwestern on Saturday night, 3-0. The Wildcats move to 9-5 on the season and 1-1 in conference action following the win.
Iowa and Northwestern went back and forth early in set one before the Wildcats pulled away, outscoring the Hawkeyes 11-1 for a 22-13 lead. The Hawkeye offense was held to just three more points, earned with kills from Erin Leppek and Rachael Bedell and a solo block from Erin Radke, in the opening set as the Wildcats secured set one, 25-16.
Set two was a battle that included 13 ties and five lead changes. The match was tight until the Hawkeyes used a five point scoring rally to pull ahead 10-7. Nikki Dailey fueled the drive, tallying three consecutive service aces, while Alessandra Dietz contributed a kill.
The Wildcats pushed back with a run of their own, but Iowa was able to keep them from taking the lead with three kills from Alex Lovell and one from Lauren Brobst. With the score in favor of the Hawkeyes 14-13, Northwestern used a 4-0 push to force an Iowa time out.
The Hawkeyes returned to the court and outscored the Wildcats 6-2 to stake a 20-19 lead. The push was highlighted by a pair of Dietz kills and a kill apiece from Bedell, Brobst and Lovell. Northwestern took the reins from there, closing the second set win 25-22.
Iowa opened the third set with a 4-0 run, fueled by back-to-back service aces from Dailey, a Dietz solo block, and a Brobst and Dietz combo block. The Wildcats answered with a four point drive of their own to even the set 4-4. Kills from Bedell and Lovell kept Iowa ahead until Northwestern used another four point run to post its first lead of the set. The Wildcat lead held up for the remainder of the third set earning their squad the 3-0 match victory.
Lovell paced the Hawkeye offense with 14 kills, while Bedell hit a team-high .278. Bethany Yeager posted a team-most 12 digs and Dailey dished out a team-high 17 assists. Dailey’s five service aces in the match marks a new career-high.
Dietz led the way with six blocks, one off her career-best mark of seven, while Leppek and Radke each recorded three stuffs.
Iowa returns to Carver-Hawkeye Arena for its Attacking Breast Cancer match against Wisconsin on Wednesday, Oct. 2. Fans are encouraged to wear pink and the first 250 fans through the door will receive a complimentary pink t-shirt. The match will be shown live on the Big Ten Network and is slated to begin at 6:30 p.m.