And we're back! Feels like we only just left most of these teams, but with the weird Covid-affected seasons many of the Iowa Olympic sports were slated to return just a few weeks after the end of their previous seasons. Luckily, they're college kids so they can recover a lot faster than you or I can. Even better, Iowa's 2020-2021 athletic season was nothing short of historic, and if the early returns are anything to go off of, it seems like the teams are picking up right where they left off.
Let's dive in.
- The Iowa cross country team kicked off their season last week at the Hawkeye Invite. The men finished first in the event, with Junior Nick Trattner finishing 2nd in the 6,000-meter race, claiming the 7th fastest time in Hawkeye history at 18:22. Noah Healy (4th) and Jack Pendergast (5th) also turned in strong performances for the Hawks, who beat the next closest team by 69 points.
- The Women's team finished 3rd at the event, led by by Sophomore Kelli Tosic's 11th place finish (14:23). Gabby Skopec (13th), Lauren McMahon (16th), and Emma Gordon (19th) also turned in top-20 performances.
- The Hawks will be back in action on the 18th, competing in the Dirksen-Greeno invite.
- The Iowa Volleyball team's season is ramping up, as the Hawks continue their non-conference schedule. While the Hawks haven't been able to come away with a win in their first 4 matches, they were able to take a set off #11 Washington, a Final Four team from last season.
- The Hawks will once again be led by do-it-all right side Courtney Buzzerio, who is now entering her senior season.
- Iowa is set to host the Cy-Hawk Series tournament this week, taking on Syracuse, Ball State, and Iowa State. It will be Iowa's first home matches of the season and the first chance of the season for fans to check out the new Xstream Arena in Coralville.
- The Women's Soccer team continued their hot start to the season last week, rebounding from an overtime loss to Kansas to beat Purdue-Fort Wayne 5-0 and draw 1-1 against Mississippi State.
- Both the win and the draw are encouraging for the Hawks. After struggling to score last season, the Hawkeyes rolled over the Mastodons (!) with three different players scoring; Alyssa Walker and Kenzie Roling each had two goals apiece, while Samantha Cary added her first goal of the season. Against Mississippi State, the Hawks fell behind in the first half but were able to break through late in the second half with Alyssa Walker finding an equalizer. Coach Dilanni has talked about the team being more athletic and aggressive this season and it's already showing in their non-conference matches. If they can keep that same mentality during conference play, they'll be much more than a Cinderella story.
- The Hawks are now 4-1-1 in the preseason, including wins over Iowa State, UNI and DePaul. They'll face UMKC and Southeast Missouri State this weekend, before returning home for the start of conference play against Northwestern on the 19th.
- The Iowa field hockey team, fresh off their victory over #1 North Carolina, scored two more wins last week, blanking both New Hampshire (3-0) and Boston (4-0)
- The Hawks are now 4-0 on the year and up to #2 in the national rankings, behind only Michigan. Once again, Iowa field hockey is one of the best teams in the nation and should absolutely be in the national championship conversation.
- Matches against Ohio (9/10) and Saint Louis (9/12) are all that remain before the start of conference play against Indiana on September 17th.
- Just in case you're circling dates on the calendar, Michigan is scheduled to come to town October 15th in a match that will be televised on BTN. Here's hoping we get a repeat of the last #1 vs #2 Hawkeye-Wolverine matchup.