Volleyball powers through home-opener

Iowa went undefeated in the Hawkeye Classic this past weekend, fighting through some tough matches.


The Daily Iowan; Photos by Josep

Iowa outside hitter Taylor Louis spikes a ball over the net during an NCAA volleyball game between Iowa and Indiana State on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017. The Hawkeyes defeated the Sycamores, 3-1. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Anna Kayser, [email protected]

The Iowa volleyball team went undefeated this past weekend in the Hawkeye Classic Tournament in Carver-Hawkeye.

The Hawkeyes started off the weekend strong with sweeps against Nebraska-Omaha and Coastal Carolina on Sept. 1.

In the Nebraska-Omaha match, Iowa got off to a slow start, trailing in all three sets before going on dominant runs to close out the games.

“Our group started off a little slow, and I think that just has to do with having a lot of new parts,” head coach Bond Shymansky said. “Figuring out not what just your role is but how do you communicate what your role is.”

Against Coastal Carolina, Iowa started on a stronger note.

The Hawkeyes jumped out to an early lead and continued their dominance in a 13-4 run that led to a victory.

The next set was closer. The Chanticleers battled the entire set, one that included nine ties and three lead changes. Hawkeye junior outside hitter Taylor Louis recorded a kill when down 22-20 to spark a 5-1 run and the win.

Louis and junior right-side hitter Reghan Coyle led the offense in the third set with 11 combined kills, boosting Iowa on a 10-3 stretch to break a tie and secure the sweep.

“I’m just focusing on my role as an outside hitter, taking care of the garbage balls and really focusing on keeping those balls in play and also when it is a good, consistent ball, just making sure to kill it,” Louis said.

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Sept. 2 gave the Hawkeyes a bigger challenge.

Iowa dropped the first two sets to Coastal Carolina to start the day. The first set featured 14 ties and four lead changes. In the second, Coastal Carolina had an early lead and never looked back to secure a 2-0 match advantage.

In the break between the second and third sets, Shymansky told his team that they had seven minutes to change their mind about how they were playing.

“It wasn’t some great speech that I gave or some great thing from a coaching standpoint,” he said. “I just put it on them and told them they needed to rally together and they needed to pull together as a group.”

That’s just what they did.

With the score tied at 8 in the third set, the Hawkeyes exploded on a 17-4 run to cut the deficit in half, 2-1.

The fourth set featured offensive dominance from Louis.

With her team down 20-19, she recorded back-to-back kills to jump-start a 6-1 run, giving Iowa the victory and tying the match up at 2.

Louis totaled 4 kills in the set.

In the finale, Iowa started out strong and never looked back for a 15-9 set win and securing the come-from-behind match victory.

“They made a really great commitment there to work hard and finish it off,” Shymansky said.

Iowa finished out the weekend against Indiana State.

After dropping the first set, the Hawkeyes rebounded in set No. 2, taking the victory with 6 kills coming from Louis and 5 from senior middle blocker Kelsey O’Neill.

In the third set, Iowa fell behind 6-4 but went on an 8-0 run to take the advantage.

Indiana State tried to come back but fell short, giving Iowa a 2-1 match lead.

The Hawkeyes went on a 11-3 run in the fourth set to break a back-and-forth rhythm and secure the match victory.

Junior right side hitter Taylin Alm led the team with 6 kills.

“It’s always hard to play back-to-back games,” Alm said. “But we fought through it, and we did it.”

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