Volleyball optimism spikes
What to Know:
Head coach Bond Shymansky began his coaching career with the Iowa volleyball team in 2014 by implementing a new culture, and by the end of the season, he saw results on the court. With loads of young talent returning and new talent joining the squad, 2015 could be another step forward for the Hawkeyes. Still, the team finished just 14-17 overall, 6-14 in the Big Ten last season.
Whom to Know:
Lauren Brobst, who led the team with 2.75 kills per set, is now a junior and the veteran of a strong corps of young hitters.
At 6-3, sophomore-to-be Jess Janota was second on the team with 226 kills as a freshman, and fellow sophomore 6-5 Taylin Alm had 1.7 kills per set with a .274 hitting percentage.
Senior Mikaela Gunderson was the leading blocker for the Hawkeyes in 2014, and she will provide a veteran presence in the frontline. Junior-to-be Alyssa Klostermann will move to the back line and play libero.
Shymansky has bolstered his roster with proven collegiate talent from around the NCAA, with transfers Annika Olsen of Georgia Tech, Loxley Keala of Missouri, and Ashley Mariani of Tennesse. The coach should have an exciting blend of youth with experience and veterans with proven ability.
The Hawkeyes had their best conference record in recent memory last season, winning six games in the conference for the first time since 2008. The team is still young, but expect it to build upon those improvements in 2015.
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