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 volleyball finishes 0-20 in Big Ten play

Iowa women’s volleyball was swept in back-to-back games against Northwestern and Wisconsin over the weekend.
Isabella Tisdale
The Scarlet Knights and Hawkeyes compete during a volleyball match between Iowa and Rutgers at Xtream Arena on Friday Oct. 27, 2023. The Scarlet Knights defeated the Hawkeyes, 3-2.

The Iowa women’s volleyball team was swept in back-to-back games against Northwestern and No. 5 Wisconsin over the weekend.

Iowa vs. Northwestern

The Hawkeyes traveled to Evanston, Illinois, to play the Wildcats on Friday.

Iowa had a similar theme in sets one and three against Northwestern as it had all season; the Hawkeyes kept it close all the way to the end but failed to finish as the Wildcats took both sets, 25-23.

The second set, however, was a different story. Iowa and Northwestern went point-for-point before a 9-1 Wildcat run gave them a 25-14 victory.

Hawkeye first-year outside hitter Nataly Moravec led the Hawkeyes with 11 kills. Outside hitters Caitlan Buettner and Gabby Deery tallied seven kills each while setters Kaia Mateo and Bailey Ortega tallied 13 assists each.

Iowa vs. No. 5 Wisconsin

Iowa turned around to play No. 5 Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin, on Saturday for its last match of the season.

The Hawkeyes showed tremendous fight for most of the first set, keeping the score within two all the way up to the end. But the same theme from the match against Northwestern would take over. Wisconsin went on an 8-3 run to take the first set, 25-21.

The second set was a complete rout by Wisconsin. With the Hawkeyes trailing early, 5-3, the Badgers went on a 20-7 run, including an 8-0 run in between, to take a dominant 25-10 victory.

The third set saw Wisconsin take a 12-4 lead early. The momentum was in favor of the Badgers from then on as they closed the set, 25-16, completing the sweep over the Hawkeyes.

Iowa’s Buettner finished the match with nine kills. Fourth-year middle hitter Delaney McSweeney followed up with eight kills while Mateo and Ortega logged a pair of 10 assists.

With these two losses, Iowa finished the season on a 20-game losing streak and failed to notch a win in Big Ten conference play.

My final thoughts

This season was nothing short of a disappointment. After starting the season 8-4 in non-conference play, Iowa failed to get a conference win in 20 tries. The Hawkeyes have only won six of 66 sets played against conference opponents and have failed to win a set in their last nine matches.

It’s hard to show any sort of remorse for this Hawkeye volleyball team when looking at the broad view of the season. Despite this, any player on the Hawkeyes would tell you that the team chemistry was as good as can be. That doesn’t just go for players, but the coaches too.

The players constantly defended Hawkeye head coach Jim Barnes as the season went on. In fact, many of the first-year and transfer players have reiterated he was the main reason why they decided to join this struggling Iowa volleyball program.

When times get rough, people tend to point the finger to try to find solutions. I think that in some situations like this, change is unnecessary, and time is of the essence. For a rebuilding program, it’s unhelpful to continuously switch head coaches and systems because that won’t necessarily guarantee wins right away.

If a season like this happens again, then you can look at it and feel the need for a change. But in Barnes’ second season, I feel as if it’s too soon to let him go. Patience is key.

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About the Contributors
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.
Isabella Tisdale, Photojournalist
Isabella Tisdale is a photojournalist for The Daily Iowan and is a senior at West High school. In her free time, she stage manages for the theater program at West High. She plans to double major in political science and journalism.