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Pete Mills, Sports Reporter

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Since Bond Shymansky was named head coach of Iowa volleyball in 2014, the Hawkeyes have had one goal in mind: an NCAA Tournament berth.

Iowa volleyball clicked on all cylinders against No. 6 Wisconsin on Oct. 6 in Carver-Hawkeye. Many conclusions can be drawn from this monster win, but one stands out: This is, finally, the year for Hawkeye volleyball.

A lot of streaks are being broken this year for the Hawkeyes, streaks that indicate a tournament run is in the cards for the squad.

Though in a loss, the squad managed to win a set against a Nebraska team for the first time in more than 30 years (Reagan administration days). And, of course, the Iowa team beat Wisconsin for the first time since 2009.

Indeed, it has been a lengthy 24 years since the last NCAA Tournament berth for the volleyball program. But it seemingly is the year of broken streaks, so why not this one?

If the Hawkeyes make it happen, it will be because of its biggest stars. In the win against the Badgers, hitters Taylor Louis and Cali Hoye posted a monstrous 54 combined kills. Libero Molly Kelly is among the very top in the Big Ten in digs per set, indicating an improving defense.

Iowa fans are starting to notice. The Oct. 6 match against the Badgers was the 11th-largest crowd in the history of Hawkeye volleyball.

It is pretty undeniable that something special is happening on the Iowa volleyball team. The Hawkeyes have demonstrated steady improvement since Shymansky was named head coach, and this milestone of reaching the NCAA Tournament is within the program’s grasp. 

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