By John Naughton
IOWA CITY, Ia. – Rachael Bedell pursued a simple volleyball plan Friday. Wake up, then win.
Bedell hammered a match-high 18 kills to beat Drake 25-12, 24-26, 25-18, 25-13 in a match that started at noon at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Friday’s match, as well as today’s noon start vs. Western Illinois are Iowa’s earliest matches of the season.
A 9 a.m. wakeup call started Bedell’s day. That was followed by breakfast, a prematch team meeting and a victory that pushed Iowa’s record to 6-1 in the Hawkeyes’ home opener.
“You just think you might be going to practice at first,” Bedell said. “Even when you’re not ready, you have to be.”
The senior outside hitter helped Iowa to a 65-41 kill advantage in a Hawkeye Challenge match.
During a week when Iowa fans are focusing on another instate contest – Saturday’s football game vs. Iowa State – the Hawkeyes won with a strong attack.
Alex Lovell slapped 17 kills and Alessandra Dietz had 15 in the early start.
“We probably had a couple of kids going to 8:30 classes,” Iowa coach Sharon Dingman said.
Iowa will play three more matches in the tournament. The Hawkeyes played Ball State Friday night and will face Western Illinois and Illinois at Chicago today. Drake took on Illinois at Chicago Friday and will play Western Illinois and Ball State today.
“Right now we have a good confidence about us,” Dingman said. “Winning helps that, for sure.”
Drake (1-6) was led by Amanda Platte’s 13 kills. The instate match was the first for Drake coach Darrin McBroom.
“It was good to be here,” McBroom said. “You know it’s going to be a challenge.”
Iowa opened with a 25-12 win in the opening set.
“It’s disappointing we started off slow and sluggish,” McBroom said.
Cassie Effken, Drake’s leading blocker, missed the match because of an ankle injury, McBroom said.
Drake rallied in the second set, hitting .283. The team scored the last two points to win.
Iowa finished the third set with an 11-1 run. Bedell slapped seven kills.
The teams were tied 8-8 in the fourth set before Iowa pulled away.
Iowa’s Bethany Yeager led the defense with 24 digs. Drake’s Sarah Madden had 23.
The next instate rivalry for Iowa will be Sept. 21. The Hawkeyes will host Iowa State at 7 p.m. in a Cy-Hawk Series match.
Drake has two instate matches left. The team will play Northern Iowa Oct. 5 at Cedar Falls and Nov. 2 in Des Moines.
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes volleyball