Career-highs power Iowa volleyball past Rutgers

Schmidt, Boyer, and Slagle all set new career-highs in the 3-1 win at Xtream Arena.


Casey Stone

Iowa Outside Hitter Edina Schmidt bumps the ball during the Iowa Volleyball game against Indiana on Feb. 6, 2021 at Xtream Arena. Indiana defeated Iowa 3-2.

Will Fineman, Sports Reporter

Another win means another slew of career-highs for a young Iowa volleyball team that moved to 2-7 on the season after its 3-1 win against Rutgers Friday. 

Sophomore Edina Schmidt set career-highs in kills and attacking attempts with 21 kills on 43 attempts. The 6-foot-1-inch outside hitter also surpassed the career-high in hitting percentage that she set last week against Ohio State with a .395 mark.

“We have been working hard in practice on those line shots,” Schmidt said. “And I think I found that today. I could not have done that without my team having my back and telling me to keep swinging away.”

During a long rally in the third set with the Hawkeyes down by one, Schmidt managed to stay with the point after getting stuffed three times in a row. She finally found the mark with her fourth attempt of the possession to tie it up at eight points.  

“We have nothing to lose out there,” Schmidt said. “We can just swing away and be present, be in the moment, and enjoy it out there.” 

Sophomore libero Joslyn Boyer continued to impress with a career-high seven assists to go along with her 18 digs. 

Serving gave the Hawkeyes a lot of easy points with the team finishing with nine service aces and junior defensive specialist Maddie Slagle setting a new career-high with three. 

“Every drill that we do, after that drill we do about two minutes of serving, and it’s very specific areas that we are going for,” Iowa head coach Vicki Brown said. “Slagle was a former outside [hitter], so I think she sees her serve as a way to get the attack.”

Iowa jumped out to a 19-12 lead in the first set, but Rutgers came storming back with a 5-1 run that forced Brown to call a timeout.

A kill from sophomore middle blocker Blythe Rients and a service ace from junior Courtney Buzzerio helped the Hawkeyes get back on track and they coasted to a 25-19 first set victory.

The second set was neck and neck throughout with Iowa fending off Rutgers to hold a small lead into a Scarlet Knights timeout with the score at 19-16. 

RELATED: Iowa volleyball returns to Xtream Arena for two-game homestand against Rutgers

Unfortunately for the Scarlet Knights, it was the Hawkeyes who came out of the break with the momentum, as three straight kills from Schmidt boosted the Hawkeyes toward a 6-1 run to finish the set, 25-17.

Junior middle blocker Amiya Jones’s block and three kills were not enough for Iowa in the third set though, as Rutgers forced a fourth set with a 25-23 win. 

Iowa is very happy to have Jones back and contributing. The two-year starter had a slow start in her return from injury last weekend against Ohio State but was back to her efficient style of play in this one with 11 kills, six blocks, and a .409 hitting percentage. 

“I am just trusting my body right now because coming back I was a little bit nervous at first,” Jones said. “I just swing hard. Honestly, I just swing away. Whenever Courtney gives me the ball, I just visualize the kill.”

Jones and Schmidt led the team in kills in the fourth set, and helped set up the Hawks for a 5-0 run in the middle of the set that pushed the team to victory. 

“We have to keep going here,” Brown said. “We come in still hungry because we know the weekend is not finished.”

The Hawkeyes will finish their series against the Scarlet Knights Saturday at 4 p.m. in Xtream Arena. The match will be streamed on BTN+.

Facebook Comments