Last weekend was great for the 800 lb. gorilla of Iowa sports. It was decidedly not great for, um, pretty much every other sport. Let's zip through the details and hope for better results next week.
TENNIS The bright spot for Iowa's minor sports weekend came from a somewhat unexpected source: men's tennis. Junior Robin Haden won 3 of 6 matches at the Saint Francis Health System ITA Men's All-American Championships and advanced to the qualifying bracket in the event, the first Hawkeye to do so since 2011. Meanwhile, the Iowa women's tennis team picked up some wins at the Purdue Invitational, going 4-4 in doubles competition over two days and 8-4 in singles competition over three days. We also found out that they have a freshman named ADORABOL HUCKLEBY, which is either a great name or THE GREATEST NAME.
SOCCER On the bright side, Iowa soccer didn't lose last week. On the less bright side, they also didn't win -- or score any goals. They played to a 0-0 draw with Indiana in Bloomington. Goalkeeper Hannah Clark was clearly the hero of the day for the Hawkeyes -- she had 9 saves to preserve Iowa's shutout (and earn a draw). Once again, Iowa was badly outshot -- 20-10, including a 12-4 advantage in corner kicks. Iowa is still looking for their first win of the Big Ten season (0-4-1) and will try again this week with a pair of home games, first against Wisconsin (6-4-3 overall, 3-1-1 in B1G) tomorrow night and then against #14 Minnesota (9-2-2, 4-1-0) on Sunday.
VOLLEYBALL Iowa volleyball has been a fun story this season, but they've hit the meat of their schedule... and it has some teeth. A week after dropping a pair of matches to Nebraska, Iowa dropped two away matches against #13 Ohio State and #1 Penn State. Iowa managed to take a set from the Buckeyes, falling 22-25, 19-25, 25-18, and 11-25. Mikaela Gunderson was the bright spot for Iowa's offense (10 kills) and was also one of the better defenders (3 blocks), while Loxley Keala set things up with 35 assists. It's at least slightly encouraging to see them able to take a set off a top team. Against top-ranked Penn State, Iowa fell in straight sets -- 26-24, 25-16, 25-23 -- but Iowa was competitive. They held an 18-13 lead in the first set before a Penn State comeback sunk them and they also held leads in the third set. They weren't able to close the deal in those sets, but hopefully it gives them confidence in their ability to compete against top competition. Jess Janota paced the Iowa offense with 10 kills, while Keala had 36 assists.
With the losses, Iowa falls to 10-7 overall, 0-4 in the Big Ten. That's a discouraging start after their promising non-conference run, but they've also played a viciously tough schedule so far. The good news is that the schedule lightens up soon -- although not immediately, as they face #24 Michigan tonight.
FIELD HOCKEY It was a rough weekend for Iowa field hockey, too, as they dropped a 4-0 decision to #14 Northwestern in Evanston over the weekend. Northwestern put Iowa's goal under siege in the first half (10-2 shots advantage), but they were actually more productive in the second half (just 5 shots, but 3 goals). The loss drops Iowa to 7-5 overall, 1-2 in B1G play. Their road sojourn continues this weekend with games against Michigan and Central Michigan in the Mitten State.
- Men's gymnastics has a schedule for the 2015-16 season.
- Iowa men's swimming is #25 in CollegeSwimming.com's first poll of the season.
- The Iowa men placed 20th (out of 20 teams) at the Notre Dame Invitational, while the women placed 19th (out of 21 teams) at the same event.
- Iowa softball played in their version of the Big 4 Classic (taking on the other in-state teams: UNI, Drake, Iowa State), but things didn't go particularly well: after losing 3-1 to UNI, they got blasted 20-6 by Drake, but rebounded to tie (?!) Iowa State, 14-14.
IOWA SPORTS CALENDAR FOR THE WEEK
(all times Central)
10/7: Iowa vs Michigan (volleyball; Iowa City, IA), NM State Aggie Invitational (women's golf; Las Cruces, NM), ITA All-American Qualifying (men's tennis; Tulsa, OK)
10/8: Iowa vs Wisconsin (soccer; Iowa City, IA), ITA All-American Main Draw (men's tennis; Tulsa, OK)
10/9: Iowa vs Michigan (field hockey; Ann Arbor, MI), ITA All-American Main Draw (men's tennis; Tulsa, OK)
10/10: Iowa vs Michigan State (volleyball; Iowa City, IA), David Toms Intercollegiate Open (men's golf; Baton Rouge, LA), ITA All-American Main Draw (men's tennis; Tulsa, OK)
10/11: Iowa vs Central Michigan (field hockey; Mount Pleasant, MI), Iowa vs Minnesota (soccer; Iowa City, IA), David Toms Intercollegiate Open (men's golf; Baton Rouge, LA), ITA All-American Main Draw (men's tennis; Tulsa, OK)