Iowa volleyball ousted by No. 11 Purdue

In their second match against a ranked opponent in three days, the Hawkeyes fell to the Boilermakers, 3-1.


Grace Kreber

Iowa volleyball middle hitter Amiya Jones celebrates a point against Purdue at Xtream Arena on Sunday afternoon. The No. 11 Boilermakers defeated the Hawkeyes in four sets.

Kenna Roering, Sports Reporter

Iowa volleyball dropped its match against No.11 Purdue, 3-1, on Sunday inside Xtream Arena.  

The Boilermakers, who came off a straight-set victory against No. 8 Minnesota on Friday, have now won their last nine matchups against the Hawkeyes, leading the all-time series, 32-10.

Iowa fell to 6-7 on the season and 0-2 in conference play under first-year head coach Jim Barnes.

Purdue freshman Eva Hudson, who leads the Big Ten in kills with 5.03 per set and points with 5.66 per set, led all scorers with 19 kills and 23 points.

Iowa fifth-year senior Amiya Jones matched her career-high with 17 kills on a .481 hitting percentage. Jones, who ranks seventh in the Big Ten in service aces, tacked on two more during the match and accounted for all five of Iowa’s blocks.

Junior middle hitter Delaney McSweeney followed for Iowa with nine kills on 13 attempts and four blocks.

“It’s hard because you know your teammates, and you see how far you’ve come, and you just wish [the team] could push past this little barrier that we have,” Jones said. “We have all this fight and all this potential, but we just let little mistakes get us down.”

The first set between the Hawkeyes and Boilermakers required extra points.

RELATED: Volleyball notebook | Iowa, conference contenders begin Big Ten play

Purdue took its biggest lead of the set, 22-19, forcing an Iowa timeout. The Hawkeyes stayed alive with a kill by McSweeney, two kills by Jones, and a block by sophomore outside hitter Michelle Urquhart to even the score at 24 apiece. Purdue initially took the set, 26-24, but a successful challenge by Barnes knotted it at 25. Purdue eventually pulled away and won the set 29-27.

The Boilermakers started the second set hot as they raced out to a 10-4 lead. But an offensive surge led by McSweeney, Urquhart, and sophomore outside hitter Toyosi Onabanjo propelled the Hawkeyes to a 13-12 lead. 

Iowa held its advantage for the remainder of the second stanza and two kills and a service ace by Jones sealed the set, 25-19, evening the match at 1-1. 

The third set started off even, as solid serving translated to kills for the Hawkeyes. But a 13-4 run by Purdue led the Boilermakers to a 25-16 win. 

The Hawkeyes were held to a 0 percent hitting efficiency  — committing 10 errors while converting 10 kills.

Purdue took a quick lead in the fourth set, 3-0. The Hawkeyes tied it at 11 but never took the lead as the Boilermakers won, 25-18, securing the match.  

“After the third set, we looked defeated,” Jones said. “And we carried that defeated look into the fourth set, which is why we couldn’t come back after they started putting pressure on us. Once we have that focus, we’re beating anybody. But once we lose that focus, anyone can beat us. We just have to learn how to stay consistent and locked in.”

The Hawkeyes travel to Bloomington, Indiana, on Wednesday to take on the Hoosiers. 

Indiana is 8-6 overall and 1-1 in conference play. The match is set for 6 p.m. and will air on Big Ten Network.

“We need to make sure we play well and beat the bottom half of the Big Ten,” Barnes said. “That’s our first step to moving this program forward …  If we keep getting better we can knock off some of these ranked opponents. But more importantly, we need to beat that bottom half of the Big Ten.”

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