Non-Rev Round Up: Volleyball Misses NCAA Tournament

By Jeremy Karll on December 1, 2017 at 8:28 am

@IowaVolleyball (Tork Mason - Hawkeye Sports)


Iowa swim & dive continues its season this week in Minneapolis at the Minnesota Jean Freeman Invitational from November 30 - December 2. 

Volleyball (18-15, 7-13)

Iowa volleyball's season concluded with a straight set loss at No. 5 Nebraska -- 25-12, 25-15, 25-23. The Hawkeyes started slow in the first set, falling behind 9-3. After a 5-2 run, Nebraska went on a 10-2 run of its own to take a commanding 21-10 lead and cruise to a first set victory.

Iowa started better in the second set, taking a 7-5 lead. However, Nebraska went on another big run (10-1) to take a seven-point lead. The Hawkeyes never came within fewer than five points again, eventually falling down by double-digits.

The season ended with the closest set of the match. Nebraska took an early 9-4 lead, initially making it look like another easy win. Iowa did manage a comeback, taking the lead a couple of times in a back-and-forth set, and looked poised to win its first set of the match, leading 23-21, but Nebraska rattled off four straight points to complete the sweep.

Despite an 18-win season and ranking No. 50 in RPI, Iowa was not one of the eight Big Ten teams invited to the NCAA Tournament. While Iowa showed potential, it struggled to consistently win in a conference with eight teams ranked in the top-30 of RPI. The Hawkeyes, which played five of the top-16 seeds in the NCAA Tournament, went just 1-11 against ranked teams this season.

Nonetheless, Bond Shymanksy has Iowa on the right track, winning 63 matches in his first four seasons, including 37 matches in the past two seasons. Iowa won only 66 matches in the six seasons prior to Shymansky taking over.

This season also marked the first time since 1989 that Iowa has had three players earn a conference award. Seniors Jess Janota and Annika Olsen, and junior Taylor Louis all made the All-Big Ten Honorable Mention Team. Louis led the team with 386 kills and 425 points. Janota ranked second in kills (274) and points (347.5), while Olsen, who also was named to the CoSIDA All-District First Team, led the Big Ten with 555 digs. 

Field Hockey

Sophomore Katie Birch was named to the NFHCA All-West Region First Team, while freshman teammate Maddy Murphy was named to the Second Team. Birch led the team with 68 shots, 36 points and 14 goals, also ranking third in the Big Ten in goals.

Murphy finished second on the team in shots (34), points (25) and goals (11).