Covering the Land of Lincoln

Iowa volleyball swept by Illinois

The Hawkeyes lost their ninth straight game on Wednesday night in Champaign.

Grace Smith

Courtney Buzzerio, on right of Iowa, tips the ball during an Iowa-Illinois volleyball game at Xtreme Arena in Coralville, Iowa on Wednesday, September 22, 2021. The Fighting Illinois defeated the Hawkeyes by a score of 3-2.

Volleyball’s pursuit of its first Big Ten win of the season in Iowa continues to be an uphill battle.

The Hawkeyes were defeated by Illinois on Wednesday in Champaign, Illinois, and extended their losing streak to nine games in a row. Iowa has been swept in five straight games while its offensive battles continue.

Iowa is now 2-15 overall and 0-7 in the Big Ten game.

The Hawkeyes had a .099 hit rate and zero players with double-digit kills.

Senior outside hitter Courtney Buzzerio led the Hawkeyes with nine kills – an improvement on their last match against Purdue when they only registered three.

In contrast to their first matchup with the Illinois on September 22nd at the Xtream Arena, the Hawkeyes kept Illinois in check outside of the hitters Megan Cooney and Raina Terry.

Cooney and Terry were both sentenced to single-digit kills that evening and struggled to be offensive.

But Cooney and Terry got hot at the right time when the Hawkeyes took an 11-4 lead in the third set of the match. The duo helped the Illinois run 7-0 and joined the set at 11am.

After the Illinois tied in the last set, the Hawkeyes made crucial mistakes, allowing the Illinois to win the game. Iowa finished the game with 22 attack errors, doubling Illinois’ total.

BIG PICTURE

Inconsistency defined the Hawkeye volleyball team in 2021 as the Hawkeyes struggle to find balance on either end of the floor. Iowa couldn’t take the block against Illinois and was blocked out, 10-2.5.

Finding consistency on the block is key for the Hawkeyes to win more sets and possibly their first Big Ten match of the season.

NEXT

Iowa meets Northwestern at the Xtream Arena on Saturday night.

The Wildcats were picked up on Wednesday night by No. 12 Swept Minnesota and left Northwestern with a record of 7-11 overall and 2-5 in the Big Ten game.

The Wildcats have a strong offensive attack led by junior outside hitter Temi Thomas-Ailara. She leads Northwestern with 273 kills in the 2021 campaign.

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