Volleyball upsets ranked Big Ten opponent


Iowa’s Brie Orr (9) sets the ball during a match against Michigan on Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017. Iowa defeated Michigan 3 sets to 1. (Nick Rohlman/The Daily Iowan)

Confidence and big offensive performances led the Hawkeyes to a 3-1 victory over No. 22 Michigan on Wednesday in Carver-Hawkeye.

Michigan started off strong during the first set.

The Wolverine defense let little fall against Iowa, putting together scrappy plays to keep long rallies alive.

Iowa rallied late in the set, going on a 5-2 run to bring the score within 1. Michigan then scored 3-straight points to close out the set, 25-21.

The second set proved to be closer, featuring eight ties and five lead changes.

Michigan had the lead, 8-6, before a 5-2 run for Iowa put the Hawkeyes up by 1.

The Wolverines then went back on top, taking 6 points in a row before the Hawkeyes went on a 10-3 run to make it 21-19.

Iowa never trailed from that point on, shutting down the match 25-22 with a junior right side Reghan Coyle and senior middle blocker Kelsey O’Neill double block.

The Hawkeye offense was a big component to the win, improving from a first set .238 attack percentage to a .469 percentage in the second match.

Junior outside hitter Taylor Louis led the team with 6 kills, followed by senior middle blocker Jess Janota and Coyle with 4.

The dominance didn’t stop there.

Iowa jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the third set and never trailed.

RELATED: Confidence key for Iowa volleyball against No. 22 Michigan

The Hawkeyes used their momentum to put together strings of kills to increase their lead, winning the set by 10 points and taking the set advantage.

Janota and Coyle both contributed in a big way. Janota recorded 7 kills and 1 block, while Coyle had 5 kills and 3 blocks.

The team as a whole averaged a .429 attack percentage for the third set.

The beginning of the fourth match was point-for-point, until a 7-2 run put Iowa up 10-5 and the Hawkeyes never looked back.

The Hawkeyes finished out the match, 25-21, to record their first win on the home stand.

Freshman setter Brie Orr made a big impact in leading the offense, recording a career-high 59 assists.

“I think we were just taking advantage of our opportunities out there, and I think Brie was just finding us all really well,” Janota said. “We were all making a lot of net zone changes, so I think that’s just how it all worked out.”

Janota and Louis led the Hawkeyes with 17 kills apiece.

A big lineup change for this match proved to be useful. By moving Janota to a spot in the rotation where she could hit more on the slide — moving from in front to behind the setter — the coaching staff played to her strengths.

“We put Jess into the M1 spot so that she could hit more slides, and that’s where Jess has really earned her keep here as a Hawkeye; it’s her best swing,” head coach Bond Shymansky said.

As well as offense, serving and passing played a big role in the win.

Freshman Claire Sheehan recorded a team-high 20 digs in the match.

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