Intensity lacking for volleyball Hawks

Volleyball was swept by Nebraska over the weekend in front of a record-breaking crowd.


David Harmantas/The Daily Iowan

Players battle at the net during the Iowa/Nebraska volleyball match on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017. Nebraska defeated Iowa 3-0. (David Harmantas/The Daily Iowan)

The Iowa volleyball team was swept by No. 4 Nebraska on Oct. 7, continuing the conversation of focusing on itself instead of its opponents.

Iowa battled at times, but in the end, Nebraska came out victorious by playing with more intensity.

The first and third sets were close, featuring 14 ties and five lead changes combined; however, the Hawkeyes’ comebacks weren’t enough to stop the Cornhuskers.

“We just erred ourselves out of the back end of every set,” head coach Bond Shymansky said. “We would get close, we would tie the score up, or we would be right there within a point or two, and then it was just errors. A team can press you to do that, nerves can do that, you start thinking too much about the ball — I mean, these are still kids, those are big moments, and they’re going to have to learn to respond.”

The Hawkeyes’ success in other weekends can be attributed to fiery intensity on the court, something that the players said they were lacking.

“We didn’t have the intensity that we should have the entire match,” freshman setter Brie Orr said. “We’re a team that plays well when we’re intense, and we need to keep that up at all times.”

Iowa didn’t lack intensity for the entire match, but the inconsistency ultimately proved too much.

The lack in energy allowed Nebraska to go on numerous runs, leading to the loss for Iowa.

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“We knew we were going to have tough battle coming in, and I don’t think we stayed consistent enough through every single point,” senior middle blocker Kelsey O’Neill said. “There were a few too many runs where we just let up and just basically gave them those points instead of fighting for them ourselves.”

The problems didn’t only lie in the intensity.

Junior outside hitter Taylor Louis said part of it was Nebraska executing the scouting report better.

What comes with that is taking what the Hawkeyes learned from film and putting it into consideration instead of trying to do too much.

“I think we were over-thinking it,” O’Neill said. “Yes, they had some good blockers up at the front, but a lot of that was us not doing our part. On the scouting report, we knew where we were supposed to hit, and I think we just kind of over-thought it too much, and we didn’t play our game.”

The volleyball program’s recent rise in success has brought out more fans every year.

Last season against Nebraska, the program set the all-time attendance record with 4,131. On Oct. 7, they blew through that again, with 4,729.

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