As we head towards the end of the season for many of the winter sports, I wanted to take a second to shout out all of the Iowa senior athletes. For all of them, their athletic careers have been their main focus for their entire lives. For the vast majority, that journey is about to end. It's worth taking a moment to take a step back as a fan and realize how much work every single kid (and their families) put in to get them to this point. Major congratulations are in order for every single senior on everything they accomplished to get to this point. Whether or not it results in team or personal accolades, they all accomplished something amazing, competing in the sport they love at a major national university. That's something to be proud of. OK, sappy moment over. Let's go watch Iowa show out all over the Big Ten.
- The 8th ranked Men's Gymnastics team competed in their final ever home meet last weekend, besting #4 Nebraska by 5 hundredths of a point, 406.700-406.650. It was Iowa's best team score this season.
- Bennet Huang, a senior, won the all-around with a career-best 83.500. Hawkeyes Evan Davis and Stewart Brown also set career-highs in the all-around.
- Iowa set season-highs in three different events: the floor, rings and vault, coming away with event titles in two of the three. Huang won the floor event with a 14.300 and Brown won vault with a 14.900
- Other standout performances included Carter Tope's second-place finish on the parallel bars and Amari Sewell's second-place finish on the vault.
- It was an emotional day for the team and its fans, who didn't have the chance to give the team a proper farewell. The meet was back and forth all day, but you could tell the Hawks wanted the win badly. They put up season-high after season-high and were able to hang on to send the team out in style. Senior Day matches are emotional in a normal season, but the pressure that must have come with knowing it was the last time the men's gymnastics team would compete inside Carver would have been immense. Props to every single one of the athletes for putting together such a strong performance.
- The women's team competed in the Big Ten Championships meet last weekend, looking to add another accomplishment to their already impressive season resume. Unfortunately, it wasn't meant to be for the Hawks, but even in a "rough" day for the team, they still managed to take 3rd place in the meet and claim two individual titles and three All-Big Ten-Championship team spots.
- Lauren Guerin and JerQuavia Henderson each earned a share of the floor title at the event with 9.950 scores. It tied Guerin's career-high and ranks 4th-best in school history. This team has dominated on the floor all season, earning a #3 national ranking, so it was no surprise to see them excel here once again. Congrats to both Big Ten champs.
- Clair Kaji finished runner-up on the uneven bars, scoring a career-high 9.925, sixth-best in school history. Clair has been a star in multiple events throughout the season and has put together a senior season to be remembered and I fully expect her to continue to bring it as this team heads towards the postseason.
- The Hawks received two other honors over the weekend. Coach Larissa Libby won Big Ten Coach of the Year for her leadership and accomplishments. It's a well deserved honor for Libby, who has this team firing on all cylinders and has created an infectious energy around the squad. Freshman Adeline Kenlin won Big Ten Freshman of the Year as well. Kenlin has won Freshman of the Week multiple times over the course of the season and is going to be a star for years to come for the Hawks.
- The Hawks were placed in the Tuscaloosa regional on Tuesday and will travel there to begin their postseason competition on April 2nd.
- The Women's Tennis team won both of their matches last week, besting Minnesota and Wisconsin.
A look back at Sunday's win with a few highlights! pic.twitter.com/uS9HYhKXTI— Iowa Women's Tennis (@iowa_tennis) March 22, 2021
- Alexa Noel led the way for the Hawks once again, winning both of her #1 matches in straight sets. Noel is now 18-0 on the year and 12-0 in conference. As a freshman, Noel has been nothing short of spectacular, besting everyone she's faced, even as she faces the best opposing schools have to offer each week. Her accomplishments earned her Big Ten Player of the Week honors.
- The men's team dropped two matches over the weekend, falling to both Michigan and Michigan State.
- Michigan came into the match ranked #8 and was able to beat the Hawks 5-2. Iowa claimed the doubles point and an early singles point but wasn't able to come away with any other victories. They put up a good fight, taking multiple matches to three sets, but couldn't get over the hump.
- The match against Michigan State was even closer, with the Hawks falling 4-3. The Hawks this time lost the doubles point, but were able to battle back during the singles matches to tie the score 2-2. Unfortunately, they lost a pair of close matches that eventually cost them the overall match.
- The Hawks were able to pick up a pair of wins last week against Ohio State to improve their record to 7-1 on the year. Both wins came by a 2-1 score.
- Iowa jumped out to an early lead in Friday's match, scoring both of their goals in the first period. Nikki Freeman and Maddy Murphy each came up with goals. The Hawks locked down after that and while they did allow a goal, the Buckeyes had very few chances on the day, generating only three shots.
- Sunday's match was more of the same with Iowa again scoring twice in the opening period. Maddy Murphy notched both goals to give her three on the weekend.
- The Hawks two wins were enough to move them up to #2 in the national rankings. Don't look now, but we may have yet another high-achieving Hawkeye team on our hands. Track, gymnastics, wrestling, and basketball have all achieved great results this season. I have a feeling we'll be adding field hockey to that list as well.
- The Hawkeyes picked up their first win over the weekend, beating Maryland 1-0 in overtime. They also dropped a match against Rutgers 2-1.
- Iowa scored late into OT against Maryland off of a bit of a broken play. A cross landed at Gianna Gourley's feet at the top of the box and she was able to turn it into the winning goal, slotting it just out of reach of the diving Maryland keeper and knocking it in off the crossbar.
Need a short video to watch this Monday morning? We recommend this. pic.twitter.com/tKJuKk6AJJ— Hawkeye Soccer (@HawkeyeSoccer) March 22, 2021
- It was great to see the Hawks pick up not only their first goals of the season but their first win. Iowa's defense has been strong all season and the offense seems as though they may be starting to turn the corner and close that gap.
- In a testament to Iowa's defensive prowess, Freshman goalie Macy Enneking was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week for her performance in the two games.
Macy Enneking (@macy73king) has been named Big Ten Co-Freshman of the Week!— Hawkeye Soccer (@HawkeyeSoccer) March 22, 2021
The distinction marks her first conference honors at Iowa
Read more about Macys honors here: https://t.co/AK7mZzjEvB#Hawkeyes pic.twitter.com/8P4w9rzRfr
- The Volleyball team dropped a pair of matches to #5 Nebraska last week, losing both in straight sets.
- There's no shame in falling to a team as strong as Nebraska, but it was a stark reminder of how far Iowa has to go if they want to build the program into a power.
- Iowa battled in the first two sets of Wednesday's match but was never able to get over the hump. By the time they fell down 2-0, there wasn't much fight left. Saturday's match was more of the same. Iowa hung around for a bit, but eventually fell convincingly.
- The Hawks will look to turn their fortunes around next weekend against Michigan State in their last matches of the regular season.