September 2016

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41 Two weekends. Two trophies. Aer the first two weeks of nonconference competition, the University of Iowa volleyball team owns a 6-1 record and a pair of tournament championships. "Right now, 6-1 is a good spot for us to be in," said UI head coach Bond Shymansky. "at's back-to-back weekends where we come away with tournament trophies. When we are getting team balance, good things are happening. I'm proud of our group." e Hawkeyes opened the 2016 season winning 9-of-10 sets at the Northern Illinois Tournament in DeKalb, Illinois, Aug. 27-28. Iowa defeated Loyola-Chicago (3- 1) and DePaul (3-0), before avenging last season's loss to the Huskies with three-set sweep. Senior Lauren Brobst was named the tournament's most valuable player, leading the Hawkeyes with 38 kills and a .471 attack percentage. e Hawkeyes continued their dominance at the Hawkeye Classic from Sept. 2-3. Iowa went 3-1 on the weekend with wins over Western Illinois (3-1) and Arizona State (3-0) on Friday. e Hawkeyes dropped a match to Butler (3-0) on Saturday morning, but bounced back with a sweep of Oakland on Saturday evening. "is weekend was important for our growth as a program," said senior setter Loxley Keala. "We know who we are now. We faltered a little bit against Butler, but it was important that we bounced back. It shows who we are and our identity of true mental toughness." For the second time in as many weeks, Brobst was named the tournament MVP. e Sioux City, Iowa, native led the team with 45 kills and a .360 attack percentage over four matches. "[Brobst] does a great job of leading us," said Shymansky. "You can see she has such a confidence out there. You can't just be comfortable. You have to be confident and aggressive. She's willing to take it to the next level and pound away at the ball." According to Keala, the key to Iowa's early success has been its depth. Five Hawkeyes have registered 30 or more kills this season, three of which are hitting .300 or better. "Our cohesiveness as a group, and our ability to spread the love on offense has been a big factor early on," said Keala, a native of Kaneohe, Hawaii. "Last year we were more predictable. Now, we have all these new faces and everyone is blossoming individually. at's important for us as a unit. We have all these different components and that's difficult to defend." With the first two weekends under their belt, the Hawkeyes shi their focus to the Iowa State Invitational in Ames, Iowa. e Hawkeyes and Cyclones square off in the annual Iowa Corn Cy- Hawk Series on Friday, Sept. 9. Last season, the Hawkeyes defeated the Cyclones (3-1) for the first time since 1997 in Carver- Hawkeye Arena. is year, Iowa seeks to defend the Hawkeye State with a road match. "Beating Iowa State last year was one of the best moments of my career," said Brobst. "is year, we want to prove that it wasn't just a fluke. is is the Hawkeye State, and we want to prove that on the court this weekend." SEPTEMBER SCHEDULE Sept. 9-10 at Iowa State Invitational Sept. 16 vs. Lamar (Iowa Invitational) Sept. 17 vs. South Dakota (Iowa Invitational) Sept. 23 at Michigan State Sept. 24 at Michigan Sept. 28 vs. Maryland

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