Volleyball offense dominates in weekend sweep

Volleyball swept its last non-conference completion behind a dominant offense, bringing an 11-2 record to Big Ten play


Iowa OH Claire Sheehan serves the ball during the match between Iowa and Iowa State inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Friday, September 8, 2017. The Hawkeyes fell to the Cyclones 3-1. (Shivansh Ahuja/The Daily Iowan)

Anna Kayser, [email protected]

The Iowa volleyball team swept the American Volleyball Classic in Washington over the weekend, improving its record to 11-2 going into conference play.

“It was a great weekend for us to come out 3-0, and now we jump on a plane, and get back to Iowa City, and really get ready for the daunting Big Ten slate that’s coming toward us,” head coach Bond Shymansky said in a release.

Not only did the Hawkeyes come away with a clean sweep, they brought home some harware: Claire Sheehan was named MVP, and she, Brie Orr, and Taylor Louis received all-tournament honors.

Iowa started off the weekend against Howard, going four sets in the tournament’s opening match.

The Hawkeyes jumped out to an early lead in the first set, at one point leading by 9.

Senior middle blocker Kelsey O’Neill recorded a perfect hitting percentage, leading the Hawkeyes with 4 kills.

After dropping the second set, Iowa rebounded in the third during the tight set. With the score 19-18 in Iowa’s favor, the Hawkeyes went on a 3-0 run to seal the victory, 25-22.

The fourth set was tied until a Hawkeye run gave them the lead for the rest of the set, taking the match 3-1.

Middle blocker Jess Janota and outside hitters Taylor Louis and Claire Sheehan had 10 kills each in the match. Janota recorded a .500 attacking percentage and also had 5 blocks.

“I thought we jumped out well early in the first set, and then we tried to put it on cruise control, and Howard was tough at home,” Shymansky said in a release. “They are a team that knows how to win. They showed why they are conference champions when they came back and really pressed us in the second and third sets.”

On Sept. 16, Iowa started off the day strong, sweeping American in three sets.

Sheehan led the offense with a career-high 19 kills and a .429 attack percentage in the match. Louis followed her with 11 kills.

The key to the success however, was the cleanliness of play.

“We didn’t have a lot of hitting errors, which has been important, and we started to reduce our service errors,” Shymansky said in a release. “It was a good start to the day.”

Iowa finished off the tournament with 3-0 victory against Princeton.

The Hawkeyes went on a 12-3 run in the first set to break a tie, then go on to take the set 25-19.

Sheehan led the charge with 6 kills and a dominant defensive performance with 5 digs.

In the next set, Iowa trailed 8-7 before seizing the advantage and not looking back.

The team rallied behind Louis’ 7 kills and .600 attack percentage.

The Hawkeyes took the third set in similar fashion, 25-16, and clinched the sweep of Princeton and of the tournament.

Louis had 15 kills and .519 attack percentage.

Offense was the dominant force this weekend, led by freshman setter Brie Orr, who recorded more than 30 assists in each match.

“It’s good that our outside hitters are clicking,” Shymansky said in a release. “I like what we have going right now with our middles and that slide tempo.”

Iowa’s first Big Ten contest of the season will arrive on Friday, when the team travels to Piscataway, New Jersey, to battle Rutgers. The following day, Iowa will square off against Penn State in University Park, Pennsylvania.

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