The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

V-ball to host Northwestern on Senior Saturday

Iowa middle blocker Mikaela Gunderson and setter Loxley Keala jump up to block a ball at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015. Iowa fell to Penn State, 3-0. (The Daily Iowan/Rachael Westergard)

At the end of a long 2015 season, the Iowa volleyball team will send off three seniors after long careers at Iowa. The time is now, as the Hawkeyes have their Senior Night on their final home match of the year, hosting Northwestern on Saturday.

Alli O’Deen, a redshirt senior from Iowa City, Erin Radke, who spent all four years at Iowa, and Mikaela Gunderson, a transfer in her junior season, will all play their final matches in Carver-Hawkeye.

“I’m feeling a lot of different emotions right now,” Gunderson said. “It’s bittersweet, definitely; I’m definitely sad. But I’m excited to start a new chapter in my life, and I’m excited to go get the victory. I think that’ll be a good cherry on top of a senior year.”

The Hawkeyes sit at 13th at 2-15 in the Big Ten, 12-18 overall, and while the Hawks approach each match comes with the objective of winning, this one has a little more meaning for the rest of the team.

“Especially for the seniors,” Loxley Keala said. “We all want them to go out with a bang.”

An ideal Senior Night is incomplete without that final victory, and Northwestern is among the best of candidates to be downed by the Hawkeyes. The Wildcats sit at 5-12 in the Big Ten, 13-15 overall, and the Hawkeyes not only secured a set in their previous meeting this season, but upset them in Carver last season.

Northwestern is in a handful of teams that the Hawkeyes absolutely know for sure that they can compete with on a point-to-point basis.

Furthermore, that is reflected in the statistics. Similar to the Hawkeyes, the Wildcats are middle-to-bottom of the pack in every category, often within only a spot or two of Iowa.

In addition to its being Senior Night, the Hawkeyes would like to improve upon their 1-8 Big Ten record at home and send their fans off on a high note. With that said, the bottom line remains to get a victory, and the main story of the night remains to honor the seniors.

“We want to send them off with a win, I think every coach and every senior has that dream; it doesn’t matter what your record is,” coach Bond Shymansky said. “I think the important thing is for them to recognize their significance and the role that they played on the team. Each one of them has a different role, but they all have a significant impact on the building process.”

Even with the season not going as well as the Hawkeyes would have hoped, Shymansky believes his seniors will remember this time fondly.

“They’re going to look back on it someday, and they won’t remember wins and losses; that’s not how it really works,” Shymansky said. “They’re going to remember the satisfaction of working really hard to become better.”

First serve is set for 7 p.m.

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