Hawkeyes Host NIU, No. 22 Iowa State in Iowa Invitational

Hawkeye Fan Shop — A Black & Gold Store | 24 Hawkeyes to Watch – 2017-18 | Hawk Talk Monthly — June 2017 | Game Notes

Serve it Up
The University of Iowa volleyball team kicks off the Iowa Invitational on Friday against Northern Illinois at 1 p.m. (CT) at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Hawkeyes face Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk foe No. 22 Iowa State on Friday at 7 p.m. in a black out match before concluding the seven-match homestand Saturday at 7 p.m. against Northern Illinois.

  • Friday, purchase one ticket for admission to the matches against Northern Illinois and No. 22 Iowa State.
  • Friday against Iowa State is the Black Out match: the first 1,000 fans will receive a Black Out t-shirt.
  • Saturday is Dad & Daughter night. Dads will have the opportunity to take part in pre-match activities with their daughters by creating signs together to display during the volleyball match. They will also have the opportunity to take photos on the court post-match.

Listen/Follow Along

  • Live audio is available for all matches on Hawkeye All-Access at hawkeyesports.com.
  • Friday’s 7 p.m. match and Saturday’s 7 p.m. will be live streamed on BTNPlus, while Friday’s 1 p.m. match will be live streamed on Hawkeye All-Access, with links 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.
Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series

  • The Cy-Hawk Series is in its 14th season in 2017-18, being sponsored for the seventh time by Iowa Corn.
  • Iowa captured the inaugural Cy-Hawk Series in 2004-05 (13-8), and won again in 2006-07 (13-8), 2008-09 (21-4), 2010-11 (15-11), and 2012-13 (17-9).
  • Iowa State won the competition in 2005-06 (13-8), 2007-08 (18-9), 2009-10 (16-11), 2011-12 (17-11), 2013-14 (14-11), and 2014-15 (15-11).
  • The series awards two points (except football, which is worth three) to the winning school in each head-to-head match-up between the two institutions. Additionally, one point is awarded to an institution if the graduation rate of its student-athletes is greater than the national average as reported each fall by the NCAA.
  • A commemorative Cy-Hawk Series Cup, which stands 31 inches tall and weighs 19 pounds, is displayed on the winning team’s campus for an entire year after a victory. Replica cups are also presented as “traveling trophies” for individual victorious teams in the head-to-head competition.

Look Out for Louis

  • Outside hitter Taylor Louis has been dominant in Black and Gold with five double-digit kill matches, including a career-high 19 kills against Coastal Carolina on Sept. 2.
  • Louis leads the team with 87 kills and .390 attack percentage. Louis also has 13 blocks this season.


  • 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 Northern Illinois

  • The Huskies are 0-7 after being swept by Oregon at the Oregon Classic on Sept. 2. They also dropped matches to UTRGV (0-3) and Loyola Marymount (1-3).
  • NIU is led by Kaylee Martin, who has 59 kills and averages 2.68 kills per set. Meg Wolowicz leads the team in hitting percentage with a .230.
  • The Hawkeyes are 7-5 all-time against Northern Illinois. The teams last squared off at the Northern Illinois Invitational on Aug. 28, 2016. Iowa swept the Huskies.

Scouting No. 22 Iowa State

  • Iowa State is ranked No. 22 after starting the season 5-0. The Cyclones last defeated Pittsburgh, 3-2, Sept. 2 to close out the Dayton Invitational.
  • Iowa State is second in the nation in opponent hitting percentage, limiting opponents to an average of a .092.
  • Samara West is No. 10 in the nation with a .493 attack percentage.

Orr’s Big Role

  • Freshman Brie Orr has taken charge of the Hawkeye offense, amassing 38 assists in her debut and eclipsing that mark with 55 assists against Coastal Carolina. She has 274 assists this season.
  • In addition to her assists, Orr has 24 kills through seven games, including a career-high nine to help lead Iowa over Long Beach State on Aug. 26.

Can you Dig It?

  • Annika Olsen has reached double-digits in digs in 6-of-7 matches, with 21 in both matches against Coastal Carolina on Sept. 1 and 2.
  • Olsen ranks No. 11 in all-time digs (1,116).

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.

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.

Challenging Schedule

  • Ten Iowa opponents are currently ranked – Minnesota (1), Penn State (3), Stanford (4), Wisconsin (6), Nebraska (12), Michigan (16), Purdue (17), Michigan State (21), Iowa State (22), and Ohio State (24).
  • The Hawkeyes’ schedule features 15 teams that reached the 2016 NCAA Tournament.
  • 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.
  • 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 take on Howard University to open the American Volleyball Classic in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 15 at 6 p.m. (CT). Iowa also faces American University (10 a.m.) and Princeton (5 p.m.) on Sept. 16.