Hawkeyes Break Attendance Record, Fall to No. 1 Nebraska

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IOWA CITY, Iowa – The University of Iowa volleyball team crushed its single-match attendance record as 4,131 fans watched the Hawkeyes take on No. 1 Nebraska on Saturday night in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa fell, 3-0, to the top-ranked Cornhuskers to move to 19-11 on the season and 9-9 in league play.
“Today we just blew through the attendance record here at Carver,” said head coach Bond Shymansky. “I’m really thankful for all the Hawkeye fans who came out and supported us tonight, and I’m grateful for all the people that made that happen. We want to take advantage of a great home stand here, and they are helping us do that.”
Iowa’s previous single-match attendance record was 3,102, set on Nov. 7, 2009 against Penn State. Saturday’s crowd highlights a record-setting year that has seen 28,648 fans watch the Hawkeyes thus far, a mark which ranks in the top 20 in the nation. This has helped the Hawkeyes amass an 11-4 record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Reghan Coyle, Jess Janota and Lauren Brobst led the Hawkeyes against Nebraska with seven kills each. Janota had a .400 hitting percentage, while Coyle racked up a .312 attacking percentage. Loxley Keala collected her fifth double-double of the season as she tallied 23 assists and 10 digs.
“I was really proud of our group and love what we’re doing and what we’re giving every day,” said Shymansky. “When you’re taking on the number one team, it doesn’t matter if you’re on the road or at home, you have to play your cleanest and best volleyball. There’s plenty for us to learn from tonight’s match. We did a nice job tonight against both Rolfzen and Holman, but we didn’t do a good job of containing the outside hitters. So now we have a couple more days to turn it back around and take on Wisconsin and then Michigan State back home. We are so close with our group and we’re going to keep working and we’re confident we are going to display our mental toughness here this season.”
The Hawkeye defense shut down Brianna Holman and Amber Rolfzen. Holman, who ranks 53rd in the nation with a .358 hitting percentage, was limited to just six kills and three errors for a .188 clip. A. Rolfzen, who averages a .356 attacking percentage, was held to just four kills and a .100 clip.
Nebraska jumped out to a 3-1 lead before the Hawkeyes scored three consecutive points to take their first lead of the match at 4-3. A kill by Janota sparked three consecutive points from Iowa to take a 9-6 advantage, but the Cornhuskers used a 10-1 run to regain the lead. Iowa then used a 3-1 stretch to cut the visitors’ advantage to 17-13 before Nebraska secured a 25-17 set win.
A Coyle kill and an ace by Alexa Ito gave Iowa a quick 2-0 advantage in set two before Nebraska drew the set even. The Hawkeyes used a 4-1 run, bolstered by a kills from Mariani (2) and Coyle (1), to take a 6-3 lead, but the Cornhuskers drew even once again. Iowa then went on a 5-1 burst to take an 11-7 advantage over Nebraska. Brobst racked up two kills and Mariani chipped in one. Back-to-back kills by Janota sparked a 4-2 stretch to give the Hawkeyes a 16-15 advantage. With the score knotted at 17-17, the Cornhuskers used a 5-0 run to take the lead en route to a 25-19 victory in set two.
Nebraska then secured the match with a 25-13 victory in set three. The Hawkeyes limited Holman and A. Rolfzen to 2 kills each during this set, while Holman was also held to a .000 attacking percentage during the final set.
Iowa returns to action on Wednesday night as they travel to Madison, Wisconsin, to take on the Wisconsin Badgers in a 7 p.m. (CT) matchup.