The Hawkeyes are the only team in the Big Ten without a victory in conference play. With Maryland and Rutgers each defeating each other once last week, Iowa sits at the bottom of the conference standings with an 0-10 record. They hosted Minnesota and Wisconsin last weekend and lost both matches in straight sets.
Iowa has shown they can be competitive. They forced Michigan to bend but not break early in conference play in a match they lost 3-2. The team has not had a winning feeling in a long time. Their last victory came on September 19th against Drake.
A large part of their struggles this season is due to frequent errors. They have more errors than their opponents on the season and they hit .233 percent. Conference opponents have made easy work of the Hawkeyes this season. The black and gold rank last in the Big Ten in kills and assists.
Lauren Brobst is the main offensive force for the Hawkeyes. The junior from Sioux City, Iowa leads the team with 269 kills, and has over 200 more attempts than any other player on the team.
Libero Annika Olsen is a bright spot on a team that has struggled mightily. Olsen is a transfer from Georgia Tech who is making a name for herself in the Big Ten. The sophomore is second in the conference with 163 digs in Big Ten play.
Iowa will see Maryland as a great opportunity to pick up their first conference victory. They will likely play better than their record shows, and will make it tough for the Terrapins to come out with a win.
WHO: Maryland at Iowa
WHEN: Friday, October 30th. 8:00 PM
WHERE: Iowa City, Iowa
HOW TO FOLLOW: Live stream on BTN+, live stats via hawkeyesports.com, and @TerpsVolleyball on Twitter.
After losing matches to both Wisconsin and Minnesota last weekend, Nebraska is in an unfamiliar place. The team has dropped from third to ninth in the AVCA Coaches Poll this week. They will likely view Rutgers and Maryland as a chance to get their swagger back as the NCAA tournament gets closer and closer.
The Cornhuskers own a 16-4 overall record, and a 7-3 conference record. Their other Big Ten loss came at the hands of Ohio State. The Buckeyes beat Nebraska at home by a final score of 3-2.
Katie Rolfzen and Mikaela Foecke are as good as it gets on offense. The duo has combined for 437 kills this season. Most opponents have struggled to restrict their firepower.
It will be interesting to see how service play influences this match. Maryland ranks first in the conference in total service aces, but Nebraska is first in service aces allowed. The Cornhuskers rarely allow a serve to drop on their side of the court, so the Terrapins will have to look for another answer on offense.
Nebraska ranks second in the conference in kills per set, as well as total blocks. They are a fundamentally sound team that is solid on both offense and defense.
Kelly Hunter leads the conference with 441 assists in Big Ten play. Also, libero Justine Wong-Orantes is first in the Big Ten in digs.
Maryland could be facing one of its toughest opponents since conference play began, and it certainly won't help that Nebraska will be looking to prove its dominance after a disappointing couple of matches.
WHO: Maryland at No. 9 Nebraska
WHEN: Saturday, October 31st. 8:00 PM
WHERE: Lincoln, Nebraska
HOW TO FOLLOW: Live stream on BTN+, live stats via huskers.com, @TerpsVolleyball on Twitter.