Iowa volleyball swept by No. 8 Minnesota

The Hawkeyes fell in three sets to the Gophers at Xtream Arena on Thursday night.


Larry Phan

Minnesota opposite Stephanie Samedy spikes the ball during a volleyball match between Iowa and Minnesota at Xtream Arena in Coralville on Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021. The Gophers beat the Hawkeyes 3-0. (

Dawson Moore, Sports Reporter

Iowa volleyball lost its thirteenth Big Ten match of the season Thursday at Xtream Arena in Coralville. The Hawkeyes were swept by the No. 8 Minnesota Golden Gophers.

The play of Iowa’s service line was inconsistent throughout the match. The Hawkeyes did have five service aces, but they also committed six service errors.

“At times, I thought we served well tonight,” Iowa interim head coach Dave Brown said postgame. “But I think we let them off the hook, at times. I think we can be a little bit more aggressive and try to put a team like that out-of-system, because when they’re in-system, it’s hard to stop.”

The Hawkeyes also struggled, defensively, allowing three Golden Gophers to register double-digit kills. Minnesota setter Melani Shaffmaster racked up 37 assists on the evening.

“It starts at the net for us,” Brown said. “Our block just needs to be more aggressive. Overall, we need to do a better job. One block in three sets just isn’t enough, especially against a team that hits that well.”

The Hawkeyes didn’t find any rhythm on offense Thursday. No Hawkeyes posted double-digit kills. Iowa’s hitting percentage after three sets was .117.


Counting their loss to Minnesota, the Hawkeyes are now 2-13 overall and 1-8 in Big Ten play this season.

Iowa is currently situated in 13th place in the 14-team Big Ten standings. Rutgers is the only team that trails Iowa in the league standings. The Scarlet Knights are 0-14 overall and 0-8 in conference play this year.

The Hawkeyes are a whopping three games behind the 12th team in the Big Ten standings: Indiana. The Hoosiers are 3-11 overall and 2-5 in Big Ten play.


Iowa will take on Maryland on Saturday at 7 p.m.  at Xtream Arena for its last home game of the 2021 season. 

It might also be the final home game for four senior Hawkeyes: Outside hitter Courtney Buzzerio, middle blockers Amiya Jones and Hannah Clayton, and defensive specialist Maddie Slagle. All four could return to Iowa in 2022 and utilize the additional year of eligibility the NCAA gave all its athletes in 2020 because of COVID-19.

“The mindset is that we are celebrating our seniors and we are playing for them,” Brown said.  “We are also playing to show everyone that we can play with anyone in this conference. Our seniors have been through a lot, and I want them to end on a good last home game.”

It will also be Iowa volleyball’s American Sign Language night on Saturday. Members of the ASL/Deaf community will get into the match for $6.