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Olympic sport wrap up: It’s women’s hoops time

Hoops gets started, field hockey gets awards and swimming grabs an upset

NCAA Womens Basketball: Iowa at Minnesota
Welcome back, Tania.
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The Iowa women’s basketball team started off their season right, winning its opening (exhibition) game of the season 85-56 over Minnesota State-Moorhead.

Megan Gustafson was money, scoring 22 points on 10-of-14 shooting and had five rebounds and three blocks in just 25 minutes. Tania Davis — who played for the first time since tearing her ACL Feb. 5 at Michigan — had 12 points and two assists in the win.

Davis and Gustafson are perhaps Iowa’s two best players and to have them both on the floor again is tremendous. Even better? Gustafson and Davis are both juniors. The 2018-19 iteration of the Hawkeye basketball team could be something special, as Iowa loses just one senior — Chase Coley — to graduation.

"We started the game and ended the game with great energy. I thought we were focused and played high-level basketball. The third quarter we let up quite a bit; defensively we let up, rebounding-wise we let up,” Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder said to HawkeyeSports. “That is unfortunate. We have to figure that out; it was against our zone defense that they got confidence against our zone. That is something we can go back and fix."

The sophomore duo of Makenzie Meyer and Kathleen Doyle also started the game for the Hawkeyes, scoring 8 and 10 points, respectively. They also combined for 11 assists as well.

All in all? A good win.

This week Iowa starts its season for real, facing Quinnipiac on Friday night and then either Missouri or Western Kentucky on Saturday as part of the Hawkeye Challenge.

Those games will be on Big Ten Plus.

Men’s swimming downs second straight ranked foe

Iowa downed No. 23 Purdue 152-148 in West Lafayette on Friday and moved to 3-0 on the year.

Trailing 146-137 heading into the 400-free relay, which was the final event, Iowa took first and second in the race, allowing them to squeak by the Boilermakers. Jerzy Twarowski won three other events as well — the 200-medley relay, 100 fly and 200 fly. He also took second as part of the aforementioned 400-free relay.

The men won eight events total.

"It was an exciting Big Ten meet and a fun win. I am proud of how hard we fought and gutted it out,” Iowa head coach Marc Long said to HawkeyeSports. “We're eager to continue improving and working hard for December and the championship season in February and March."

Meanwhile, the Iowa women’s team fell 176-123 to sixteenth-ranked Purdue.

Sophomore Hannah Burvill won two events (100 and 200 free) and was the runner-up in the 500 free. Meghan Lavelle finished first in the 100 and 200 back.

Jayah Mathews won the 1-meter dive.

"Of course we want to win, but I am very proud of our effort in this meet. We stepped up, won events, and performed well against the 16th-ranked team in the country,” Long said to HawkeyeSports. “The vibe and energy on the deck was amazing. We grew as a team and we're excited for the future."

The swimming Hawkeyes are off until Nov. 30th, while the diving teams will compete this weekend at the Minnesota Diving Invitational.

Volleyball falls in Carver-Hawkeye to No. 22 Purdue

The Hawkeye volleyball team lost in five sets to the Boilermakers on Sunday in heartbreaking fashion.

Purdue took the first set 25-20, but Iowa took the next two 25-19 and 25-23. In the fourth, the Hawkeyes had chances to end the match, but couldn’t quite get the job done, falling 26-24.

Gassed, Iowa gave up the final set 15-9.

"You could tell we ran out of steam in the fifth set. We gave a lot in the fourth set. We tried to battle them off and they pulled it out at the end. Credit to their two big hitters for taking over and really carrying them by the end,” Iowa head coach Bond Shymansky said to HawkeyeSports. “I just keep encouraging our team that we continue to get better, we continue to battle. We know we are going to be in that moment all season. We just keep saying we are going to be in tight moments with the best teams in the league. We just have to find ways to finish it out.

Brie Orr was the statistical star for the Hawks, tallying 49 assists, six kills, five digs and four blocks. Claire Sheehan had 15 kills and 13 digs.

The Hawkeyes are 16-11 (5-9) Big Ten and also picked up a 3-0 win against Indiana last Friday.

This week is huge as the Hawkeyes host No. 1 ranked Penn State tonight at 8 p.m., with the match televised on BTN. And hey, get there early and you might just get yourself a free t-shirt.

Saturday, Iowa will take on Ohio State, also at 8 p.m.

Field Hockey gets two all-Big Ten nods

Sophomore Katie Birch and freshman Maddy Murphy both took home all-Big Ten honors for their performances this season.

Birch was named first team, while Murphy was named to the second team. It’s the second time Birch has been named all-conference, as she took home Big Ten Freshman of the year last season.

Birch had 14 goals, 36 points and 68 shots, all of which were the time high-water mark.

Murphy finished the season with 11 goals, 25 points and 34 shots. She also had three game-winning goals, a team high.