Sept. 23, 2015
IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa volleyball team battled but fell in straight sets to No. 4 Nebraska on Wednesday night. A crowd of 2,447 filled Carver-Hawkeye Arena — the sixth largest crowd in program history.
With the loss, the Hawkeyes fall to 10-4 on the season, while the nationally ranked Huskers improved to 10-1.
“There are so many positive things to take from a match like this,” said UI head coach Bond Shymansky. “This is the Big Ten. We are going to see the best teams all the time.
“One of the things we are realizing is that we are one of the best teams. We have a right and a reason to expect to come out and go toe-to-toe with everybody. We showed that tonight, but we still have so much room for improvement.”
After battling back and forth in the first set, the Hawkeyes used a 7-0 run to get out to a 17-10 lead. Freshman Reagan Davey served up the rally and added an ace while junior Lauren Brobst added a pair of kills. Nebraska fought back, however, going on a 10-1 run of their own to establish a 20-18 lead. Iowa battled, coming within one point four times, but could not pull ahead as the Huskers took set 1, 25-23.
“We needed to shut the door in that first set, because I know it would have turned the tide of momentum,” said Shymansky. “Nebraska was still trying to figure us out.”
The Hawkeyes came out swinging in set two, getting out to an early 6-1 lead. Sophomore Jess Janota (2), Brobst (2) and Davey (1) all contributed kills to the rally. After a Nebraska timeout, the Huskers scored five straight points to tie the game at six. Nebraska used a late four-point run to gain distance and take the second set, 25-20. Janota led the Hawkeye offense, tallying six kills and only committing one error. Junior setter Loxley Keala dished out 15 assists.
Nebraska controlled the momentum for the majority of the third set, before the Hawkeyes fought back. Down 20-14, Iowa used a six-point run to tie the set, 20-20. Kills by senior Mikaela Gunderson (1), Brobst (1), and Janota (2) aided the rally. After a pair of ties at 21 and 22, Nebraska used back-to-back kills by freshman Mikaela Foecke and Annika Albrecht to gain a two-point lead and ultimately take the set, 25-23.
“I thought our team showed extreme resilience at the end when we were down six points in the third set,” said Shymansky. “We could have just put our tail between our legs and skulked off the court, but we didn’t. Our group really showed a lot of stick-to-it-ivness. I’m excited to coach a group like this. It’s a lot of fun.”
The Hawkeyes and Huskers meet again on Saturday, Sept. 26. First serve is set for 7 p.m. (CT) at the Bob Devaney Sports Center in Lincoln, Nebraska.
|#4 Nebraska vs. Iowa||1st||2nd||3rd|
|#4 Nebraska (10-1)||25||25||25|
|Kills: Brobst (IOWA) 16 | K. Rolfzen (NEB) 14|
|Assists: Keala (IOWA) 37 | Hunter (NEB) 40|
|Digs: Olsen (IOWA) 15 | Wong-Orantes/Albrecht (NEB) 11|
|Blocks: Mariani (IOWA) 4 | A. Rolfzen (NEB) 3|