Iowa volleyball continues hot streak, beats Cyclones

The Hawkeyes entered the Cyclone Classic with a three-game win streak, which doubled to six in tough matches against Wyoming, Syracuse, and Iowa State. The Hawkeyes beat the Cyclones at Hilton Coliseum for the first time in 21 years.


Megan Nagorzanski

Cali Hoye spikes the ball during Iowa's match against Eastern Illinois on Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Hawkeyes won the match 3-0.

Pete Mills, Sports Reporter

Some streaks were broken, and others were extended this past weekend for Iowa volleyball.

The squad extended its winning streak to six games while beating Iowa State in Hilton Coliseum, breaking a 20-year losing streak.

The Cyclone Classic began with a Sept. 14 match against the Cyclones. Hilton has historically been a difficult place to play for Iowa volleyball, and its most recent victory came in 1997.

It was not easy for the Hawkeyes, having to play four tough sets against their in-state rival. The first set gave many Hawkeyes the opportunity for offensive contributions. Freshman Hannah Clayton, sophomore Brie Orr, and junior Cali Hoye all posted kills, giving the Hawkeyes the 25-20 first-set victory.

The second set yielded much of the same, with Hoye and Taylor Louis hitting kills late to give Iowa a chance to sweep the Cyclones.

An early lead by the Hawkeyes was not enough to take the match, 3-0, and an Iowa State timeout led to a timely comeback for the Cyclones.

Reghan Coyle posted 3 kills in Iowa’s final 6 points to close out the 3-1 match against the Cyclones. Hoye and Louis each led the team with 15 kills, with 5 blocks by Clayton.

Hawkeye head coach Bond Shymansky praised the Hawkeye effort to break the winless streak at Hilton.

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“I was in grad school at Iowa the last time Iowa won here. It feels pretty darn good,” he said in a release. “It was a really great team effort. Our team was ripe for the 3-0 sweep and let them crawl back into it, but it took a lot of fortitude to dig down and come out with a great four-set win.”

The momentum carried into Sept. 15 in the match against Wyoming. The Cowgirls had a 4-point lead late in the first set, but Hoye led the Hawkeye offense, posting 4-straight kills. Iowa narrowly won the first set, but fell victim in the second to a strong showing by the Cowgirls, 25-16.

But the Hawkeyes demonstrated some grit, taking the next two sets in the clutch. The 25-22 final set involved 12 lead changes, but kills by freshman Amiya Jones and errors by the Cowgirls put the Hawkeyes in victory lane.

Later  on Sept. 15, the Hawkeyes took on Syracuse. The long weekend of volleyball ended in dramatic fashion with a 5-set shootout against the Orange.

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It began with an early lead for Syracuse, which it held for the remainder of the first set, despite efforts from Louis and freshman Sarah Wing. Wing saw extended action for the Hawkeyes for one of the first times in her opening season.

Trading blows, the Hawkeyes took the second set, 25-15. Iowa took advantage of Syracuse mistakes, and kills by Wing and Louis put the second set into the Hawkeye win column.

In the third, the Hawkeyes could not overcome an early Orange lead, giving up a 4-point run mid-set. Iowa put up a fight, including 11 assists from Orr and 5 kills from Hoye.

These flashes of confidence helped the Hawkeyes close out two gritty final sets. Louis led the tired Hawkeye squad with 2-straight kills late in the set, followed by a kill by Hoye to give the Hawkeyes its six-game winning streak.

Louis, Coyle, and Molly Kelly were all named to the All-Tournament team.

Big Ten play for the Hawkeyes will begin Friday with a home match against Michigan State.

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