CORALVILLE, Iowa — University of Iowa volleyball fell to No. 1 Nebraska, 3-0, Sunday afternoon inside Xtream Arena.
Fifth year Caitlan Buettner led the way for the Hawkeyes, posting nine kills and hitting at a clip of .257. Redshirt freshman Nataly Moravec followed closely behind with eight kills. Senior setter Bailey Ortega led the team in assists registering 17 in the match. Redshirt junior Amanda Darling tallied 10 digs, and freshman Rosa Vesty and Buettner recorded five blocks apiece.
Set 1 (Nebraska, 25-21): Nebraska came out strong, until Ortega set up redshirt senior Delaney McSweeney for a kill to put Iowa on the board. The Hawkeyes capitalized on a Husker error to close the gap to one. Nebraska pushed ahead, but Iowa kept it close after taking advantage of a couple more Nebraska errors. Freshman Kaia Mateo set up Vesty to put the ball down from the middle, lessening the spread to four. Iowa posted back-to-back points after a Nebraska error and a successful attack by McSweeney. Moravec also registered a kill for the Hawkeyes and gave the assist to Mateo. Nebraska put down a few kills, but Buettner responded and put down a kill herself. Shortly after, redshirt junior Anna Davis came through swinging from the right side to record a kill. Buettner ended a long rally after putting down a kill out of the back row. The two teams exchanged kills, and Buettner and McSweeney teamed up at the net to post a block. Iowa trailed closely behind, 22-18, after back-to-back kills by McSweeney and Vesty. Nebraska put down a kill, and then Iowa recorded another set of consecutive kills by Vesty and Moravec to make the score 23-20. At match point, Nebraska took a timeout and came back out to record a kill to win the set.
Set 2 (Nebraska, 25-21): Moravec went back to serve an ace to start out the set. Nebraska recorded a pair of kills, but then had an error and Iowa met them at two. Consecutive Hawkeye kills by Vesty and Buettner brought the set to a tie again at four, and then the Huskers served one into the net to give Iowa the lead. The set remained close towards the beginning, tying at points four through seven. Nebraska pushed ahead after going on an offensive run. Iowa lessened the Husker lead to two, and Nebraska attempted to challenge but were unsuccessful. The Hawkeyes went on an offensive run with freshman Gabby Deery starting it off by posting a kill. Vesty and Buettner paired up at the net for a block during the Hawkeye run, and Moravec found a hole for a kill to bring the set to a tie at 12. The teams met again at points 13 and 14. After a timeout, Iowa came back out strong with a block. The set stayed tight, tying at 15 and 16. Nebraska took a two-point lead, until Moravec retaliated with a kill, bringing the deficit back to one. Iowa battled, but fell short at the end of the set and Nebraska ended on top.
Set 3 (Nebraska, 25-15): Iowa and Nebraska exchanged kills to start the set. Deery posted a kill from the right side to put the Hawkeyes ahead. Right after, Buettner recorded a kill from the outside thanks to an assist by Ortega. Iowa took the lead by three after Mateo went back to serve an ace. The Hawkeye lead stretched to four after a Husker error. Vesty and Davis teamed up at the net to record a block. A few possessions later, the same duo stood strong at the net, putting up a wall and holding the lead at 9-6. The Huskers went on a short offensive run and met Iowa at 10. A Moravec kill brought the set to a tie again at 11. Nebraska recorded a pair of kills, but the Hawkeyes battled back when McSweeney and Buettner blocked a Nebraska’s attempt for a kill. Iowa took a timeout, and Buettner came back out strong and posted a kill. Nebraska went on an offensive run towards the end of the match. Buettner got the ball back for Iowa, but the Hawkeyes were not able to catch the Huskers. Nebraska took the set and the match.
HEAR FROM HEAD COACH JIM BARNES
“We fought together, for each other, and we didn’t give up. We made Nebraska earn their points. We were defensively really good. We had a lot of good touches at the net and good blocks. With our defense, we kept ourselves in it.”
The Hawkeyes travel to Evanston, Illinois, on Friday, Nov. 24 to play Northwestern inside Welsh-Ryan Arena. First serve is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT on B1G+ (subscription required).