IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa volleyball team defeated Lamar in straight sets on Friday evening in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Hawkeyes improved to 9-2 on the season with the win, marking the team’s best start since 2013.
Iowa utilized a 5-1 run to get out to an 8-3 lead in the first set. Seniors Ashley Mariani (kill) and Loxley Keala (kill), redshirt freshman Meghan Buzzerio (kill, ace), and sophomore Reghan Coyle (block) aided the rally. Iowa never trailed from there, using a 3 -1 run to close the set 25-19 and take a 1-0 lead in the match.
The Iowa offense came out firing in set two, hitting .370 with 13 kills. The Hawkeyes never trailed in the set, using four Lamar errors to take an early 4-0 lead. Iowa extended its advantage to 10 (18-8) with a 9-1 run. Redshirt sophomore Kasey Reuter and Keala guided the Iowa rally, each adding solo blocks and kills. The Hawkeyes remained in control from there, going on to win the set 25-14.
After a back-and-forth battle to start set three, Lamar used a 7-1 run to take a 17-13 lead and force head coach Bond Shymansky to call a timeout. The Hawkeyes responded with a 5-1 rally of their own to tie the set, 18-18. Reuter (2), Keala (1), and Janota each added kills to the run. The Cardinals regained a lead on three Iowa errors before sophomore Reagan Davey took over the Iowa offensive attack. The Ocala, Florida, native registered four kills over the final eight serves to seal the final set (25-23) and the match (3-0) for the Hawkeyes.
“I’m proud of the way they responded in the third set,” said Shymansky. “They could have just waited for the fourth set to start, but they showed conviction there at the end to finish strong. This is where the team leadership needs to step forward and the team cohesiveness needs to rise to form something that is unbreakable in those tight moments.”
Davey came up big in the final set, registering five on her seven kills. Her .545 attack percentage (7-11) marked a new career high.
“I knew coming in that my job is to be smart and be able to put the ball,” said Davey. “I was just focused on being a smart and efficient hitter. That’s something that I’ve been working on.”
Six Hawkeyes registered five or more kills in the match, including Janota (8), Davey (7), Reuter (7), Mariani (6), Keala (5), and Buzzerio (5). Keala dished out a team-leading 33 assists, and junior libero Annika Olsen paced the team with 16 digs. Coyle and Janota added two blocks apiece.
Iowa returns to action Saturday, hosting South Dakota (10-1) at 7 p.m. (CT) in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.