Iowa volleyball drops Big Ten opener to No. 7 Ohio State, prepares for No. 11 Purdue

In head coach Jim Barnes’ first-ever Big Ten match, the Buckeyes swept the Hawkeyes.


Isabella Cervantes

Iowa outside hitter Michelle Urquhart serves the ball during a volleyball match between Iowa and Northern Iowa at Xtream Arena in Coralville on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022. The Hawkeyes defeated the Panthers 3-0.

Kenna Roering, Sports Reporter

Iowa volleyball dropped its Big Ten Conference opener to No. 7 Ohio State, 3-0, at Xtream Arena on Friday night. Ohio State now leads the all time series, 66-12. 

The Hawkeyes, who have already matched their win total from 2021, are now 6-6 on the season. 

Head coach Jim Barnes competed in the first Big Ten match of his coaching career on Friday. He thought the Hawkeyes competed well, but cleaning up errors and strong communication will be crucial as Iowa continues conference play.

 “If we communicate a little better in those situations and play our game, we win those [first two] sets,” Barnes said. “The third set I thought was a lot more characteristic of how we’ve been playing. For us, it’s just about getting this team to the level we know we are capable of … and replicating that over and over. This match will make us better for Sunday.”

Iowa dropped the first set, 25-16. While fifth-year senior Amiya Jones had three quick kills and a service ace to keep the Hawkeyes in the game, errors ultimately got the best of Iowa. Jones led the Hawkeyes in the first set with four kills on five attempts. 

Hitters Emily Londot and Jenaisya Moore led Ohio State with four kills each, helping the Buckeyes to a .310 hitting efficiency in the first set.

Ohio State continued their hitting frenzy in the second set, jumping out to a 15-5 lead. Miscommunication on the court stalled the Hawkeyes from fighting back, and they dropped the second set, 25-8. 

The Buckeye defense held the Hawkeyes to a negative hitting percentage, while Ohio State registered .429. 

While the Hawkeyes showed resilience in the third set, they couldn’t avoid the sweep. Iowa registered a match-high 18 kills as the Buckeyes took the match, 26-24. 

Michelle Urquhart finished the day with a team-high nine kills, followed by Toyosi Onabanjo with seven.

Following the loss, Jones is doing her best to keep positive energy inside the locker room.

“I just try and tell them that anyone can beat anyone on any given day,” Jones said. “We just have to play to our strengths and give it our all to beat these teams, because it’s hard to come back from losing. You really have to work two times as hard as other teams to get that momentum.”

The Hawkeyes now sit at 0-2 against ranked opponents in the 2022 season. They’ll have another ranked matchup this Sunday when No. 11 Purdue comes into Xtream Arena. 

The match is set for 12 p.m. and will be the fifth ever women’s collegiate volleyball game aired on ESPN. 

“It’s nice that women are getting the opportunity to really show how cool the sport of volleyball is on national TV,” Jones said. “But it’s honestly just another game … We have to show everyone we deserve to be on TV, even though we already do. So, it’s not something we should be super happy about, it’s something we should expect.”

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