Iowa volleyball falls to Northwestern

The Hawkeyes won their first set in eight matches, falling to Northwestern, 3-1.

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Larry Phan

Iowa right-side hitter Courtney Buzzerio reaches for the ball during a volleyball match at Xtream Arena in Iowa City on Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021. The Wildcats defeated the Hawkeyes 3-0.

Dawson Moore, Sports Reporter


Iowa volleyball fell to Northwestern, 3-1, on Saturday at Welsh-Ryan Arena in Evanston, Illinois, for its 12th consecutive loss.

But the Hawkeyes avoided the sweep, winning their first set in eight matches.

The Hawkeyes found success in serving, registering 10 service aces and forcing Northwestern out-of-system

Senior outside hitter Courtney Buzzerio racked up five of the 10 aces. Buzzerio also led the Hawkeyes with 11 kills in the contest. Buzzerio tops the Hawkeyes with 293 kills in the 2021 campaign — on pace to pass her previous season high of 305. 

Sophomore setter Bailey Ortega was in a rhythm distributing the ball, totaling 22 assists in the contest and allowing Iowa outside hitters to apply pressure on the Northwestern defense.

Northwestern outside hitter Temi Thomas-Ailara finished with a match-best 14 kills and carried the Wildcats to victory. 

Thomas-Ailara has been unstoppable during the 2021 campaign, amassing 316 total kills. The Wildcat was also excellent from the service line against the Hawkeyes, finishing with 3 service aces.

BIG PICTURE

After the loss to Northwestern, Iowa’s losing streak moved to 12 matches. The Hawkeyes are now 2-18 overall and have a 0-10 record in the Big Ten

Finding success on the block will be vital to the Hawkeyes making it over the hump and into the win column. Iowa only finished with one block in the loss to the Wildcats, and struggled to slow down Northwestern’s outside hitters.

UP NEXT

The Hawkeyes will travel to East Lansing, Michigan, to take on Michigan State on Friday. 

The Hawkeyes were swept by the Spartans on Oct. 1 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Spartan sophomore outside hitter Sarah Franklin registered 20 kills in the match. Franklin has been a force for Michigan State this season, totaling 255 kills.

Michigan State is coming into the match with a record of 9-10 overall and 2-8 in Big Ten play. The match will be played at Jenison Field House at 7 p.m. It will be streamed on BTN+.

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