Hawkeyes Fall to No. 16 Buckeyes in 4

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Nov. 18, 2015

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IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa volleyball team took one set from 16th-ranked Ohio State, but ultimately fell in four sets Wednesday night in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Hawkeyes fall to 12-18 on the season, and 2-15 in conference action with the loss.

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“We are battling,” said UI head coach Bond Shymansky. “We are fighting and doing the best that we can out there. Ohio State is a Sweet 16-caliber team. They do a very nice job.

“I keep saying this, but it’s the Big Ten. Every team is super talented, super athletic, really big, very skilled and they make good adjustments. I thought we responded well tonight after a very flat and disappointing first set. We really got it going for the second set and really found a way to fight it out.”

After trading points to begin the first set, the Buckeyes used a 5-1 run to take a 15-10 lead and force an Iowa timeout. Ohio State remained in control from there, recording a .591 attack percentage to win the set, 25-14. The Buckeye block proved to be a problem for the Hawkeyes. Ohio State registered four team blocks in the set to take a 1-0 advantage in the match.

The Hawkeyes fired back in the second set, getting out to an 8-4 lead to force a Buckeye timeout. Freshman Reghan Coyle, juniors Ashley Mariani and Lauren Brobst, and senior Mikaela Gunderson combined for a pair of blocks, while Coyle, Brobst, and sophomore Jess Janota each added kills to the rally.

Following the timeout, the Buckeyes chipped away at the Iowa lead to eventually tie the set, 16-16. It was a back-and-forth battle from there. With the set tied, 24-24, senior Mikaela Gunderson came up with a pair of timely kills, before Coyle sealed the, 28-26, set victory with a kill to tie the match at one game apiece. Mariani and Janota each added three kills, while junior Loxley Keala dished out 12 assists in the set.

After the break, Ohio State used a six-point swing to take an early 9-3 lead. The Hawkeyes responded, however, using a 6-1 run to pull within one point (11-10) and force a Buckeye timeout. Mariani and Coyle registered a block and a kill, while freshman Libby Koukol added an ace to the rally. Following the timeout, the Buckeyes scored five-straight to regain separation. They remained in control from there. The Hawkeyes rallied late, using a 5-1 swing to pull within five, but could not close the gap as the Buckeyes went on to win the set, 25-19.

Set four was a close battle from the start. With the match tied, 16-16, the Buckeyes used a 6-2 run establish distance. They controlled the set from there, going on to win 25-20. Ohio State registered a .438 attack percentage and four team blocks in the set.

“We talk about climbing in the Big Ten, and tonight we weren’t ready to climb over a top ranked team like Ohio State,” said UI head coach Bond Shymansky. “Saturday night we need to be ready to climb over Northwestern and keep making forward momentum for our program.”

Mariani led the Iowa offense with 10 kills, while Keala dished out 42 assists. Sophomore libero Annika Olsen paced the defense with 19 digs, while Coyle registered a team-high three block. Coyle also recorded a career-high nine kills.

The Hawkeyes return to action on Saturday, Nov. 21, hosting Northwestern on Senior Day. First serve is set for 7 p.m. (CT) in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Iowa vs. #16 Ohio State 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
Iowa (12-18, 2-15) 14 28 19 20
#16 Ohio State (22-7, 11-6) 25 26 25 25

Statistical Leaders
Kills: Mariani (IOWA) 10 | Appold (OSU) 29
Assists: Keala (IOWA) 42 | Hughes (OSU) 28
Digs: Olsen (IOWA)19 | Leon (OSU) 18
Blocks: Coyle (IOWA) 3 | Sandbothe (OSU) 6
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