No. 20 Ohio State extends Iowa volleyball's losing streak to six
The Iowa volleyball team had its losing streak extended to six this past weekend with a loss in straight sets (25-17, 26-24, 25-12) to No. 20 Ohio State.
The Buckeye hitters demonstrated throughout the match that they wanted to leave Iowa City with a win. The power behind their shots continually shook Iowa’s defense.
Ohio State outside hitter Hole registered 14 kills against Iowa.
“Our defense needed to be better,” team captain Bethany Yeager said. “[Mari Hole] is a great player, but we definitely didn’t play her well.”
Hole wasn’t the only Buckeye to stump the Hawkeyes at the net — Mariah Booth (11 kills) and Kaitlyn Leary (14) helped Hole punish the Iowa defense with every shot they took.
“Speed was one thing we had to adjust to,” junior Rachael Bedell said. “We got frazzled on where the ball was going and how to move our block on defense. [Ohio State] has a very fast offense, and we just didn’t adjust enough.”
Much of Iowa’s struggles came on the defensive end, where Ohio State’s hitters kept finding holes to place the ball. It seemed that even when there weren’t any holes, the Buckeyes aimed their shots at Hawkeye bodies.
The Buckeyes out-killed Iowa, 55-28.
Head coach Sharon Dingman said the Buckeyes, who bested then-No. 4 Nebraska on Oct. 26, are “probably a top-15 team.”
The Buckeyes’ .348 hitting percentage wasn’t the only thing that beat the Hawkeyes — Iowa doomed itself with another bad start. The Hawkeyes began the match very slowly and fell behind, 12-3, in a matter of minutes.
“We definitely came out slow in the first set,” Yeager said. “We weren’t mentally locked in. In the second set, we started playing well, but we couldn’t hold on to it.”
The Hawkeyes challenged Ohio State in the second set. Iowa went point-for-point with the Buckeyes behind good serving and passing. That allowed Bedell to commit a set-best 7 kills.
“The second set was huge emotionally,” redshirt freshmen Alli O’Deen said. “We wanted to close the set, and because we didn’t, I think that was the heartbreaker. We didn’t use the momentum from the second set, and that’s why we struggled in the third set.”
Bedell was the lone bright spot for an offense that only showed up for one set. She registered a team-high 13 kills while hitting .400 for the match.
Another notable appearance for Iowa was Iowa City native O’Deen, who made her first career start. While she didn’t register a kill, she kept her composure on the court in an attempt to help her team compete.
“The team was there for me on the court,” O’Deen said. “They were guiding me throughout the whole match. [Playing against Ohio State] showed me what I need to work on for this week.”
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