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Iowa makes final road trip

BY RYAN RODRIGUEZ | NOVEMBER 22, 2013 5:00 AM

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The Iowa volleyball team will have one more chance to earn a road victory in the Big Ten this season as it takes its final road trip of the season to Indiana and Purdue this weekend.

The Hawkeyes have had a rough go of things on the road this year. They have played eight conference games outside Iowa City this season, and they have lost all eight.

Head coach Sharon Dingman is confident that the players still has a lot of fight left in them.

“It’s just another weekend in the Big Ten,” Dingman said. “We’re hoping to see a couple wins.

Indiana is a team that’s a lot like us. We’re in the exact same position. They’re right there with us, so I think it will be an interesting matchup, and I think it will be a fun match.”

Iowa’s only conference win of the season thus far came against Indiana in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Oct. 19, so Iowa is more than familiar with the Hoosiers, and as Dingman said, they are similar in many ways to the Hawks.

Both teams will go into the matchup tonight in Bloomington with identical records of 1-15 in Big Ten play, with Indiana’s sole win of the season coming on Oct. 26 when they upset No. 10 Michigan St. While the Hoosiers are not exactly a conference powerhouse, the Hawkeyes are not taking them lightly.

“Since we’ve already beat them, they’re going to be trying that much harder to beat us,” junior Erin Leppek said. “We’re just going to have to step and not let them ever take control of the game.”

Though they were certainly happy with their win at the time, the Hawkeyes know that that was the past, and they’re going to have to raise their game if they want to repeat.

“I haven’t even processed the fact that we beat them last time,” senior Nikki Dailey said. “I really haven’t even taken it into account. It’s the second half of the season with a clean slate, so they’re just any other Big Ten team to me.”

No. 25 Purdue is a team that brings a more dynamic offense than Indiana, as well as a winning pedigree, something that the Hawkeyes experienced firsthand on Oct. 8, when the Boilermakers defeated them, 3-0.

While they know the opposition will be tough, the Hawks realize that no one is invincible.

“ [Purdue] is already in the NCAA Tournament, but I’m sure they feel like there is still a lot of work that could be done, which is something that I think we can use motivation to beat them this weekend,” Dingman said.

Iowa was able to go to Purdue last season and upset the nationally ranked Boilermakers in three straight sets. Dailey-remembers the atmosphere of that game, and she says she’s excited to get back to that atmosphere.

“Purdue is a place that I always love to play at,” she said. “The atmosphere is always loud and it’s always exciting to play there.”


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