Volleyball looks to recover in road matchup against Ohio State

The Hawkeyes are currently on a five-game losing streak, which they will look to stop against Ohio State.

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Volleyball looks to recover in road matchup against Ohio State

Iowa setter Courtney Buzzerio goes for a kill during a volleyball match between Iowa and Iowa State at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Saturday, September 21, 2019. The Hawkeyes fell to the visiting Cyclones, 3-2.

Iowa setter Courtney Buzzerio goes for a kill during a volleyball match between Iowa and Iowa State at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Saturday, September 21, 2019. The Hawkeyes fell to the visiting Cyclones, 3-2.

Shivansh Ahuja

Iowa setter Courtney Buzzerio goes for a kill during a volleyball match between Iowa and Iowa State at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Saturday, September 21, 2019. The Hawkeyes fell to the visiting Cyclones, 3-2.

Shivansh Ahuja

Shivansh Ahuja

Iowa setter Courtney Buzzerio goes for a kill during a volleyball match between Iowa and Iowa State at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Saturday, September 21, 2019. The Hawkeyes fell to the visiting Cyclones, 3-2.

Ben Palya, Sports Reporter

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It was another difficult weekend for Iowa volleyball. Iowa’s losing streak extended to five games after four and five set losses to Michigan and Michigan State, respectively. 

Despite the losses, there are still some positives to take away from a weekend full of changes in the rotation and younger players getting minutes.

“We found our rhythm,” head coach Vicki Brown said. “I was happy that we did it in the second set rather than waiting.”

With the young team gaining more experience by the week, today’s road match at Ohio State is a great chance to put everything together and get a much-needed victory.

“It’s a really good match for us to win on the road and take a good team that has a really good environment and create our own energy in that,” sophomore Courtney Buzzerio said.

The Buckeyes have struggled in Big Ten play as well, currently sitting with a 2-4 in conference play. Ohio State did not put up much of a fight against Iowa’s most recent opponents, being swept by Michigan twice and again by Michigan State. 

The Buckeyes have produced a very average season of volleyball so far, currently sitting at 9-9 and boasting few notable wins. The lone standout win so far is a road win against the Maryland Terrapins earlier this season.

With that in mind, this is the perfect match for Iowa to get back to winning ways and resurrect its Big Ten season.

Both Iowa and Ohio State play similar styles of play, with the Buckeyes boasting a high number of kills per set and a low hitting percentage as a result. The Buckeyes boast a hitting percentage of just .200 compared to Iowa’s .249, while the two boast similar kills per set with Ohio State averaging .2 more than Iowa’s 13.4. 

The similar sets of stats continue, with the two sides averaging very similar aces per set, blocks per set, and assists per set. With that in mind, the game will most likely be won by the team that attacks with more proficiency.

RELATED: Iowa volleyball drops fourth and fifth-straight at home

Another factor in Wednesday’s match will be the raucous crowd at the Covelli Center, a small but intimate arena that just sold out its last match against Michigan. A hot start from the Hawkeyes could quiet the crowd and get momentum going.

“I think it’s about working hard at the very beginning,” Brown said. “Because on the road, especially within our conference, it’s about setting the standard from the beginning.”

On the attack, Iowa must be wary of Jenaisya Moore and Mia Grunze, both averaging over three kills per set. Kylie Murr will be an impact player on the defensive side of the ball, averaging 5.11 digs per set. 

If the Hawkeyes can continue their good defensive play from the Michigan State match, there is a real chance the Hawkeyes can win the match in three sets.

The match will go underway at 7 p.m. today in Columbus, Ohio, and can be seen on the Big Ten Network.

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