The Daily Iowan

Rivalry week continues for Iowa volleyball

Hawkeye volleyball will travel to Ames this weekend for the Cyclone Classic. The Hawkeyes hope to continue their winning streak over the weekend, as well as challenge in-state rival Iowa State.

Hannah+Clayton+and+Cali+Hoye+block+the+ball+during+Iowa%27s+match+against+Eastern+Illinois+on+Sunday%2C+Sept.+9%2C+2018+at+Carver-Hawkeye+Arena.+The+Hawkeyes+won+the+match+3-0.
Hannah Clayton and Cali Hoye block the ball during Iowa's match against Eastern Illinois on Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Hawkeyes won the match 3-0.

Hannah Clayton and Cali Hoye block the ball during Iowa's match against Eastern Illinois on Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Hawkeyes won the match 3-0.

Megan Nagorzanski

Megan Nagorzanski

Hannah Clayton and Cali Hoye block the ball during Iowa's match against Eastern Illinois on Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Hawkeyes won the match 3-0.

Pete Mills, Sports Reporter

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For Hawkeye volleyball, the Cy-Hawk rivalry week has only just started as they travel to Ames today to take on Iowa State. The Hawkeyes will then take on Syracuse and Wyoming in the Cyclone Classic at Hilton Coliseum.

Iowa’s attention is largely focused on its in-state rival. Iowa State will come into the match with a 6-4 record, having dropped its most recent match to Nebraska.

The Cyclone roster features Jess Schaben, a senior hitter who leads the team with 122 kills. The defense is stout, featuring defensive specialist Hali Hillegas, who leads the Big 12 with 208 digs.

“This is a match that we always look forward to,” head coach Bond Shymansky said. “It was good for us to get three sweeps this past weekend and be able to turn our mental focus to the Iowa State Cyclones. They’re a really great program, and we’re excited as we get into the daily preparation to be able to go play them on Friday.”

One thing the Hawkeyes certainly have on their side is momentum. The practice that went into sweeping three teams last weekend will make a big difference when they try to repeat the success. 

Freshman Hannah Clayton said the work put into practice last week will carry over. 

“Serve and pass were two big things we’re working on, and we did well on that this past weekend, so that’ll give us a lot of momentum coming into the weekend,” she said. 

Last weekend gives Iowa hope for the future. Over the course of the Hawkeyes’ weekend sweeps, they led opponents in points scored, 212-138, in kills, 144-119, and in digs 154-137. Something is clicking for them, so they hope to employ much of the same strategy. 

“We are preparing by doing a lot of the same training that we’ve been doing,” freshman Amiya Jones said. “Position-wise, finishing our block and making sure that we’re always closing. Things like that have really helped us get better at blocking and doing the things that we need to do in order to beat [Iowa State].”

Following today’s match against the Cyclones, Iowa has a quick turnaround with the Saturday matches against Wyoming and Syracuse.

Wyoming enters the Cyclone Classic with an 8-1 record, having won its last four matches. The Cowboys have been a formidable opponent thus far; a highlight win for the squad came against tough Colorado in five sets, a team that handed the Hawkeyes an early four-set loss. 

Syracuse sports a 2-3 record heading into the weekend. The Orange started the season off strong with two-straight wins, but they have dropped their most recent three matches, all to opponents ranked in the top 25. 

For Iowa, Another three-match weekend means a lot of volleyball for the Hawkeyes. An early win over a rival wouldn’t be a bad way to get it started.

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