Iowa volleyball to face No. 9 Nebraska, Northwestern

Iowa will face Nebraska at Xtream Arena Wednesday night, then travel to Evanston, Illinois, for a matchup with Northwestern.


Casey Stone

Iowa outside hitter Addie VanderWeide bumps the ball during the volleyball game between Iowa and Purdue at Xtream Arena on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021. Purdue defeated Iowa 3-0.

Dawson Moore, Sports Reporter

On Sept. 25, Iowa volleyball was swept by Nebraska in Lincoln. Since then, the Hawkeyes haven’t won a single set in their last seven matches.

The Hawkeyes were simply overpowered by the Cornhuskers last month. Nebraska junior Madi Kubik and freshman outside hitter Lindsay Krause combined for 27 kills against the Hawkeyes.

Krause has been a big contributor to the Cornhuskers’ offensive attack all season long, racking up 140 kills in 17 games.

Iowa struggled to sustain its pass-serve game against Nebraska, finishing the Sept. 25 match with two service aces. 

The Hawkeyes also struggled to effectively execute on offense versus the Cornhuskers, as setters Bailey Ortega and Jenna Splitt finished the game with just 29 assists combined.

“Courtney Buzzerio is starting to find her rhythm again, scoring-wise,” Iowa head coach Vicki Brown said. “We lost that against Nebraska. So, to see her find that on the outside is a good addition to our game heading into [Wednesday’s] match.”

In Iowa’s last outing, a 3-0 loss to Northwestern, Buzzerio amassed 13 kills.

The Hawkeyes’ second matchup of the season with Cornhuskers will come today at 7 p.m. at Xtream Arena in Coralville.

Nebraska enters Wednesday’s match with 14-3 overall and 8-0 conference records — good for first place in the Big Ten Conference standings.

Kubik figures to play a big role in tonight’s game, just as she did the first time the Hawkeyes and Cornhuskers squared off. Kubik leads Nebraska with 188 kills in 2021. She was named Big Ten Volleyball Player of the Week Oct. 18.

Following their match with the Cornhuskers Wednesday, the Hawkeyes will travel to Evanston, Illinois, Saturday to take on Northwestern. Action between Iowa and Northwestern is slated to begin at 7 p.m. at Welsh-Ryan Arena.

In their first matchup with the Wildcats on Oct. 16 at Xtream Arena, the Hawkeyes’ got their pass-serve game going. On the game, Iowa recorded six service aces.  Splitt recorded three of the Hawkeyes’ six Oct. 16 service aces.

The Hawkeyes did, however, struggle to contain Wildcat junior outside hitter Temi Thomas-Ailara. Ailara finished Northwestern’s most recent matchup with Iowa with 12 kills. Ailara is the Wildcats’ 2021 kills leader, accumulating 285 in just 19 games.

The Wildcats are situated in 10th place in league standings.

Overall, the Hawkeyes will be riding a ten-match losing streak into their game against the Cornhuskers tonight. Iowa currently sits at the bottom of the conference standings with 0-8 league and 2-16 overall records.

Iowa’s matches versus Northwestern and Nebraska can both be streamed live on BTN+.