The Iowa volleyball team on Wednesday night had turtle as the main dish.
It wasn’t easy, but the Hawkeyes hosted the Maryland Terrapins in Carver-Hawkeye Arena and left as victors after a five-set thriller. The match began sloppily, as 9 of the first 12 points for either team came as a result of errors, but Iowa led 8-4 early in the first set.
The teams didn’t take long to get settled, but Iowa had built all the cushion it needed. Several short runs allowed the Hawkeyes to lead by as much as eight before winning the opening set, 25-18.
The second set had much more of a back-and-forth. After jumping out to a 9-5 lead, the Terrapins allowed Iowa recover to tie the set at 9 and again at 10. Iowa captured its first lead at 11-10, but Maryland rattled off a run of its own to go back up, 14-11.
Then things got away from Bond Shymansky and his Hawkeyes. All of a sudden, they were down, 20-13, and the set ended with a 25-18 victory for the visitors.
And maybe the Hawks felt deflated after dropping the second set, but the third saw Shymansky’s squad take one on the chin.
Maryland quickly led 10-4, eventually leading 13-4. Iowa strung together a few points, but this set was the most one-sided of them all.
After a 4-point streak to cut the deficit to 19-14, the Hawkeyes surrendered two more Maryland runs to abruptly end the match, 25-15.
As uninterested as the Hawks appeared in set three, they were equally as reinvigorated for the fourth.
Behind 5-consecutive kills from Lauren Brobst, the Hawkeyes established a 6-1 lead in the set. Back-to-back service aces by Kaylee Smith then extended the lead to 10-3.
With thanks to Brobst, as well as Alessandra Dietz and Mikaela Gunderson, the Hawkeyes delivered an equalizer with a 25-15 set victory of their own, forcing the fifth breaker set.
After trading 25-18 and 25-15 set victories, the teams combined for a nail-biter all the way through the fifth set.
The score was within 3 for the length of the set, but the Hawkeyes fell behind early. They dropped the first 2 points, and after tying the set, surrendered the lead again.
Trailing the Terrapins, 10-7, a Maryland service error followed by a Julianne Blomberg ace and another Brobst kill evened the score, just like that, at 10.
The teams traded punches for ties again at 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15. But after another service by the Terrapins, a Blomberg kill sealed the deal, winning the set, 17-15.
Brobst posted 23 kills in the victory, while Dietz had 9 and Blomberg was only a kill away from a double-double, with 9 kills and 13 digs.
The win moves the Hawkeyes to 14-16 on the season, 6-13 in the Big Ten. They will conclude their season at home against Michigan State on Friday.