Volleyball: Northwestern sweeps season series against Iowa


Daniel Tian/Daily Senior Staffer

Juniors Kayla Morin and Maddie Slater get in place to block a return. The duo ranks second and third on the team in kills this season, with Morin totaling 251 and Slater notching 204.

Max Gelman, Assistant Sports Editor


Despite its season-long inconsistencies, Northwestern will have at least one thing to hang its hat on at the end of the year.

The Wildcats (14-15, 6-12 Big Ten) defeated Iowa (12-19, 2-16) three sets to none Saturday, sweeping the match and the season series against the Hawkeyes. NU’s win snapped a five-game losing streak dating back to Halloween when the Cats toppled Michigan State in four sets.

Saturday also marked NU’s first road victory since Sept. 26 against Maryland (13-19, 3-15).

The win featured a balanced offensive attack led by outside hitters Symone Abbott and Kayla Morin. Both attackers paced NU with 11 kills each, and junior Rafae Strobos, who has seen an uptick in playing time recently, chipped in seven.

The Cats have struggled on the road all season, as their only three Big Ten road wins have come against the conference’s bottom feeders in Maryland, Iowa and Rutgers (4-26, 1-17). Taking out those three matches, all 3-0 sweeps, NU only won two sets in six contests away from Welsh-Ryan Arena.

With only two games left on their schedule, the Cats’ season is rapidly drawing to a close. On Wednesday, NU travels to Happy Valley for a rematch with No. 7 Penn State (25-4, 14-4) where the Nittany Lions will be looking for revenge after the Cats shockingly upset them in October. The season ends at home with a Senior Day matchup against the Terrapins.

Only two Cats will be graduating at the end of the year — libero Caroline “Carks” Niedospial and defensive specialist Abbie Kraus. Niedospial may be in the running for the All-Big Ten team, which will be announced Dec. 1.

NU’s match against Penn State begins Wednesday at 6 p.m.

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