The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Iowa women’s volleyball finishes 3-0 at Fryfest Invitational, notes areas of improvement

The Iowa women’s volleyball team swept the Fryfest Invitational at Xtreme Arena in Coralville from Sept. 1-3.
Lilly Stence
Iowa middle hitter Delaney McSweeney prepares to block the ball during a volleyball match between Iowa and Wisconsin at Xtream Arena in Coralville on Friday, Oct. 14, 2022. The Badgers defeated the Hawkeyes, 3-0.

The Iowa volleyball team finished with a 3-0 record at the Fryfest Invitational held at Xtreme Arena in Coralville from Sept. 1-3.  

The Hawkeyes swept Middle Tennessee State, 3-0, beat Kent State, 3-2, and swept South Dakota State, 3-0. 

The tournaments before the Hawkeyes open Big Ten play give the team an outlook on what’s working and what they can improve on, so despite going undefeated for the tournament, Iowa head coach Jim Barnes knows that this team has its work cut out for it. 

“We’re a young team with a lot of new faces; we’re a work in progress,” Barnes said. “We’re getting better in some areas, and we’re going to work to get better at some others that make us the best team we can be. [I’m] proud of our work ethic.”

But there are many positive takeaways from the weekend. Barnes is happy with how his team fought but believes there is always room for improvement and that the team will continue to find ways to get better.

“Our fight, we played hard, and we stuck together,” Barnes said. “So now we’ve got to execute better. We’ve got to pass, serve, and receive better. We’ll be getting ready for these really good teams, but I like how we stick together and fight as a team.” 

Playing for one another is big in the game of volleyball. With half of the roster being new additions, it’s a day-by-day process to learn how to play together and use each other to the best of their abilities.

Barnes understands that this team is searching for an identity and that it will take time to get used to playing with new faces.

“We’re finding out who we are; match by match, we’ve got five new players in the lineup,” Barnes said. “Every day, we’re picking up on how to play together. When all six people on the court are connected and doing their job, we’re a pretty good team. 

The talent throughout the roster is evident. There’s a ton of versatility that allows this team to be flexible. Time and experience with each other will lead to better chemistry. 

Sophomore libero Sydney Dennis plays a huge role for the Hawkeyes. The 5-foot-5 libero is a big reason why the team saw success throughout the tournament, being one of the returners from last season. 

“She’s one of our glue players and keeps us together,” Barnes said. “When she’s locked in and playing well, we’ve got a great chance to win.”

Another player who will be one of the vocal points to this team is senior Delaney McSweeney. The 6-foot-7 middle hitter provides a strong physical presence in front of the net that makes it challenging for any opponent to get around.

“Delaney’s a big presence at the net, and she’s become a big leader for us,” Barnes said. “She’s a difference-maker for us.”

The Hawkeyes will host rival Iowa State on Sept. 6 for the volleyball leg of the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series. 

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About the Contributor
Chris Meglio, Sports Reporter
Chris Meglio is a first year student at the University of Iowa studying a double major in sport studies and journalism. He will be working as a sports journalist for The Daily Iowan covering women's volleyball for the fall sports season.