IOWA CITY, Iowa — Despite career days from freshmen Kyndra Hansen and Blythe Rients, the University of Iowa volleyball team (7-10, 1-5) fell to Michigan State (12-4, 3-3), in five sets on Sunday afternoon.
HEAR FROM COACH BROWN
“It’s always going to be an interesting weekend when you host both Michigan teams. We found our rhythm and we were happy we did it in the second set instead of the third set, so we are getting better at that. We tried a couple new things, so Kyndra (Hansen) had a good match against Michigan, so she held her own and had a career high. We also flipped things with our middles and gave Blythe the start. I have said this from the start, there is a very thin line between statistically who is doing well at practice and who is getting on the court during games. Blythe (Rients) earned her spot today and did a good job offensively and defensively.”
HOW IT HAPPENED
SET 1 (15-25) | Looking to start quickly, Iowa got out to a 6-5 lead following a kill from junior Brie Orr. Iowa surrendered a lead to the Spartans at 11-14 and called a timeout. A fast 3-1 run put Iowa behind 14-15, but Michigan State took control of the set and went on a 10-1 run to close out the set.
SET 2 (26-24) | Iowa fell behind quickly off a 5-0 Spartan run to begin the second. Iowa called a timeout and came back to tie the set at 6 after three straight kills from freshman Kyndra Hansen. Both teams battled for control and Iowa grabbed a 20-17 lead following a kill from sophomore Hannah Clayton. Iowa led 22-18 when Michigan State made a run to tie the score at 22, but Iowa remained composed and took set two, 26-24, off a Spartan service error.
SET 3 (25-23) | Following the break, Iowa aimed to take control of the third set and did so early in the third. A block by Clayton and Orr forced Michigan State’s first timeout of the set and the Spartans returned with a run of their own to force an Iowa timeout with the Hawkeyes leading 15-14. Michigan State tied the score three more times in the set, but Iowa didn’t allow the lead to slip away and took the third set, 25-23.
SET 4 (20-25) | Iowa opened strong in the fourth off a service ace from Orr and block from Hansen and freshman Blythe Rients to take a 7-2 lead. Michigan State battled back to tie the set at 10 as Iowa maintained short leads throughout the majority of the set. Tied at 18, Iowa committed back-to-back hitting errors to give the Spartans the lead an advantage as the set was coming to a close. A Spartan block stifled any chance of a comeback for the Hawkeyes as the match went to a decisive fifth set.
SET 5 (3-15) | The Hawkeyes ran out of steam in the fifth set, falling behind 2-8 at the switch. Iowa called a timeout trailing 2-10, hoping for a late-stage comeback, but fell 15-3.
- Freshman Kyndra Hansen set a career high with 13 kills.
- Freshman Blythe Rients notched career highs in kills (11) and blocks (4) in her first career start.
- Iowa and Michigan State saw 36 ties and 10 lead changes.
The Hawkeyes travel to Columbus, Ohio, to face the Buckeyes on Wednesday at 7 p.m. (CT). The match will air live on the Big Ten Network.