The Iowa volleyball team could not complete a second-straight upset, dropping a 3-1 decision to #10 Minnesota. Coming off of a big sweep at Purdue last week, the Hawkeyes were confident when they stepped into the game, but dropped the opening set to the Golden Gophers,
It seemed as though it took a little while for the Hawkeyes to get on their toes and to anticipate the power plays the Gophers were making. Variety was definitely something the Gophers focused on. Gopher outside hitter Ashley Wittman said they made sure to add variety to each play, so they could eliminate any predictability in their game, and indeed, it worked in their favor.
As the second set began, viewers saw a somewhat transformed Hawkeye team. Players like Rachael Bedell, Chanté Thompson, and Alessandra Dietz had a spectacular game. Bedell led the charge, finishing the game with 11 kills. The Hawkeyes claimed a 25-18 decision in the second set to even the contest.
Ultimately, it was not enough to carry the team to a victory, as Minnesota claimed the next two sets and the match. The Hawkeyes struggled defensively against the Gophers’ fast paced playing. The Gophers did an awesome job of finding the gaps on the floor and placing the ball directly in those positions. To their credit, the Hawkeyes had many unanswered tip overs and blocks that proved as an asset for them, especially in the second set.
Rather frequently, both team struggled with finding the boundary lines. Numerous times the ball went soaring out of bounds as players scrambled to retrieve it to no avail. Perhaps it was a fluke, or could it be something that both teams need to knuckle down on and pay more attention to?
Though this loss is of course unwelcomed, the Hawkeyes did rather well facing such a high ranked team. They stood their ground at certain times, and didn’t allow the Gophers to sweep them.