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Hawkeyes looking for three in a row, host Indiana

BY KYLE MANN | NOVEMBER 05, 2014 5:00 AM

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Coming off two road wins over the weekend, the Iowa volleyball team will face Indiana at home tomorrow in hopes of getting a streak started.

Currently standing 11-12 on the season (3-9 in the Big Ten), the Hawkeyes will look to return to the .500 mark for the first time since Oct. 10. Last weekend’s victories were the first consecutive wins for the Hawkeyes since winning two matches on Sept. 13, so perhaps the team is, in fact, on the way up.

But why? What is it about this team that has evolved to the point that it can be consistently expected to compete? Head coach Bond Shymansky believes that was on display in weekend victories over Maryland and Rutgers.

“I thought our preparation was exceptional,” Shymansky said. “You could feel it on our group in the afternoon as we were building towards the moment to play Maryland, and we really never relented.”

Lauren Brobst agreed, explaining that the Hawkeyes were able to go into College Park, Maryland with a plan, and stick to it.

“We executed the scouting report,” Brobst said. “We focused on shutting down their middles, and their go-to players. It obviously worked.”

Iowa swept the Terrapins that evening and followed with a victory against Rutgers the following night. If the team wants to continue its winning ways, it will look to be equally as prepared for Indiana.

The Hoosiers are 14-10 overall and 5-7 in conference play. They’ve won two of their last three matches, but had lost five consecutively prior to that span.

Sophomore outside hitter Taylor Lebo leads Indiana in overall kills with 242, but junior Amelia Anderson leads with 3.10 per set. And as a team — to Iowa’s pleasure, the Hoosiers rank 12th in the conference with a .195 hitting percentage — ahead of only Maryland and Rutgers.

Shymansky spoke last week about how much his team would benefit from an entire week to prepare for two weekend games. With a Wednesday match this week, the team is without the additional practice time.

Despite that, another crucial element to the preparation process is the actual game day build up to a match. Alyssa Klostermann said that aspect is at its strongest of the season.

“When we went on the road we were really focusing on Friday, before we played Maryland,” Klostermann said. “We had a very efficient warm-up and a good mindset going into the game that we came to play.”

The team has been coming together in recent matches, getting strong performances from several players at once. Last weekend it was Taylin Alm, who tied a season-high with nine kills at Maryland, and then broke it with 11 at Rutgers.

Whether it’s Brobst, Alm, freshman Jess Janota, or senior Alessandra Dietz, the Hawkeyes will be looking for another dynamic performance from the offense in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Wednesday.

Follow @KyleFMann on Twitter for news, updates, and analysis about the Iowa volleyball team.


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