Hawkeyes Open 2017 Season at LBSU Invitational

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Serve it Up
Iowa kicks off the 2017 season Friday at noon (CT), facing Wright State at the LBSU Invitational in Long Beach, California. The Hawkeyes conclude the tournament with matches against No. 2 Stanford and Long Beach State at noon and 9 p.m., respectively, Saturday.
Listen/Follow Along

  • Live audio is available for all three matches on Hawkeye All-Access at hawkeyesports.com.
  • The match against Long Beach State will be live streamed on BigWest.TV. A link can be found at hawkeyesports.com.
  • Live stats for each contest can be found on the volleyball schedule page at hawkeyesports.com.

Follow the Hawkeyes
For an inside look at the Iowa Volleyball program and access to exclusive coverage, “like” University of Iowa Volleyball on Facebook and follow @IowaVolleyball on Twitter and Instagram.
A Season to Build On

  • Iowa finished the 2016 season with a 19-13 overall record and 9-11 mark in Big Ten play. The overall record marks the first winning season for the program since 2000 when Iowa went 15-13 overall.
  • The nine conference wins mark the most since 2000, when the Hawkeyes were 11-9 in league action.
  • Nineteen wins is the most for the program since 1994 (24-9; 14-6 B1G). That season, Iowa amassed a 24-9 overall mark with a 14-6 record in league play.

Incoming Dominance

  • Outside hitter Taylor Louis comes to Iowa after a successful two-year stint at Marquette where she led the team with 537 kills and 257 digs in 34 matches played.
  • Louis was named to the AVCA All-East Coast Region Team, the All-Big East first team, and was selected as an AVCA honorable mention All-American.


  • Halle Johnston, Claire Sheehan, and Gabrielle Orr played together on the Northern Lights (Minesota) club team under Dave Manka, Adam Beamer, and Walt Weaver for three years.
  • The trio led the 15-1S team to an AAU National Championship and a United States Girls Junior National Championship in the U.S. Junior Olympic division of USA Volleyball.
  • The three guided the team to a third-place finish in the AAU National Championship and a fifth-place finish USJNC.

Scouting Wright State

  • Wright State concluded the 2016 season with a 9-20 overall record.
  • Megan Hopkins led the Raiders with a .240 attacking percentage during the 2016 season. She had 268 kills, 108 blocks, and 58 digs.

Scouting No. 2 Stanford

  • The 2016 National Champions finished the season with a 27-7 overall record.
  • Jenna Gray led the Cardinal with a .474 attacking percentage. She amassed 57 kills, 1,173 assists, 220 digs, and 55 blocks.
  • Stanford led the nation in blocks (433) and blocks per set (3.36), and was third in overall kills (1,836).

Scouting Long Beach State

  • Host Long Beach State racked up a 21-10 overall record during the 2016 season.
  • YiZhi Xue led the Beach with a .345 hitting percentage. She amassed 222 kills and 122 blocks.
  • The team’s .256 hitting percentage in 2016 was good for 34th in the nation.

Record Broken

  • The Hawkeyes crushed the single-match attendance record as 4,131 fans watched Iowa take on No. 1 Nebraska on Nov. 19. Iowa’s previous single-match attendance record was 3,102 (Nov. 7, 2009 against Penn State).
  • Hawkeye fans came out in droves for a combined home attendance of 30,695. The Hawkeyes were 11-5 at home, which included two wins over ranked opponents (No. 17 Purdue and No. 24 Illinois).
  • The Hawkeyes have set 11 top 20 attendance marks since head coach Bond Shymansky took the helm in 2014.

Setting Records and Taking Names

  • Iowa finished the regular season with a 19-13 overall record and a 9-11 mark in Big Ten play, which marks the first winning record for the program since 2000 when Iowa concluded the season at 15-13 overall.
  • The nine conference wins is the most for the squad since 2000, when the Hawkeyes were 11-9 in league action.
  • Nineteen wins is the most for the program since 1994 (24-9; 14-6 B1G). That season, Iowa amassed a 24-9 overall mark with a 14-6 record in league play.

Can you Dig It?

  • Annika Olsen reached double digits in digs in 25-of-32 matches during the 2016 season. This included tying a career-high with 26 digs against Michigan State on Nov. 26, 2016.
  • Olsen amassed her 1,000th dig against Michigan State in the 2016 season finale. She currently ranks No. 16 in career digs.

Coyle Makes an Impact

  • In 2016, Reghan Coyle became the first Hawkeye since 2012 to earn Big Ten Player of the Week honors for performances against Northwestern (Oct. 28) and No. 24 Illinois (Oct. 29).
  • In 32 contests, Coyle more than tripled her kills total from the previous year. After recording 68 kills in 23 matches as a freshman, the Council Bluffs, Iowa, native registered 239 kills as a sophomore.

Challenging Schedule

  • The Hawkeyes’ schedule features 15 teams that reached the 2016 NCAA Tournament, including a matchup with reigning NCAA champion Stanford.
  • The nonconference schedule includes seven teams that competed at the 2016 NCAA Tournament, including Stanford, Coastal Carolina, Iowa State, Northern Illinois, Howard University, American University, and Princeton.
  • Following it’s Big Ten opener at Rutgers, Iowa faces five-straight teams — Penn State (13), Wisconsin (3), Minnesota (1), Michigan (17), and Nebraska (2) — that ended the 2016 season ranked. All five of those teams reached the regional round of the NCAA Tournament, while Nebraska and Minnesota advanced to the Final Four.

True Mental Toughness
The Hawkeyes will continue their True Mental Toughness mantra for the 2017 season. Bond Shymansky’s squad defines true mental toughness as having a great attitude, treating others really, really well, being unconditionally grateful regardless of your circumstances, and giving your very, very best.
European Adventures
University of Iowa volleyball’s Annika Olsen was one of 14 student-athletes to travel with the Big Ten volleyball foreign team from June 17-28. The group started in Prague, Czech Republic, and traveled to Vienna, Austria, Maribor, Slovenia, and Venice, Italy, before ending the tour in Milan, Italy. The group played against several foreign national teams (including the Czech Republic Senior National team and the Italian Junior National Team, among others). The team also saw several historic cities and sights and participated in community service initiatives during the trip.

  • Molly Kelly appeared in all 32 matches in 2016 and led the team with 26 service aces. She also racked up 140 digs and 30 assists.
  • Meghan Buzzerio played in all 32 matches in 2016, amassing 255 kills, 187 digs, 25 blocks, and 20 service aces.
  • Kasey Reuter appeared in 18 matches in 2016 and racked up 70 kills. She had a career-high .889 hitting percentage (eight kills in nine attempts, no errors) in Iowa’s win over Indiana.
  • Reghan Coyle played in all 32 matches in 2016. She registered 239 kills and ranked second on the team with 75 blocks.
  • Annika Olsen, the Hawkeye’s libero, appeared in all 32 matches in 2016 and led the team with 445 digs. She also racked up 72 assists and 13 aces.
  • Emily Bushman appeared in four matches for the Hawkeyes, including helping guide the team to victory at Rutgers on Nov. 4.
  • Cali Hoye played in 18 matches in 2016, registering 34 digs and 21 kills. She had a personal-best six kills and a career-high .556 attacking percentage at Rutgers on Nov. 4.
  • Taylin Alm played in three contests in 2016, amassing 10 kills and a .833 attacking percentage.
  • Jess Janota appeared in all 32 matches in 2016, collecting 260 kills, a .344 attack percentage, and a team-high 82 blocks. Janota chipped in 54 digs and 18 aces.


  • Defensive specialist Ashley Smith comes to Iowa after a season at Nebraska-Omaha, where she amassed 396 digs. Smith played two years at Tipton and two years at Iowa City HS. At Tipton, Smith set a school record for most digs in a set with 58.
  • Halle Johnston played libero at Lakeview South HS for four years and amassed a school-record 1,487 digs. As a senior, she guided her team to a 26-3 record and a berth in the state tournament.
  • Setter Gabrielle Orr joined the Hawkeyes in the spring after four seasons at Eagan HS. Orr amassed 1,271 kills, 1,983 assists, 1,139 digs, 177 blocks, and 116 service aces over her high school career.
  • Outside hitter Claire Sheehan played four years at Cambridge Isanti HS where she accumulated 2,350 kills, good for third all-time in Minnesota Class AAA competition. She also had 1,711 digs and 218 blocks.
  • Middle blocker Kelsey O’Neill comes to Iowa after two years of competition at Pittsburgh. She tallied 170 kills and 72 blocks in 2016.
  • Defensive specialist Paige Franck played four years at Kennedy High School where she collected 324 kills, 158 digs, 44 assists, 26 service aces, and 25 blocks.
  • Outside hitter Taylor Louis joins Iowa after three seasons at Marquette. In 2016, Louis racked up 537 kills and 257 digs. Prior to Marquette, she played three years at Niles North High School. 

The Premier Conference
The Big Ten Conference has had an NCAA champion in eight of the last 13 years. Eight teams – Penn State, Ohio State, Minnesota, Purdue, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Nebraska – appeared in the 2016 NCAA Tournament.
On Deck
The Hawkeyes open their home slate Sept. 1 atHawkeye Classic against Nebraska-Omaha at 12 p.m. Iowa also takes on Coastal Carolina and Indiana State during the opening home tournament.