Iowa Travels to D.C. for American Volleyball Classic

24 Hawkeyes to Watch – 2017-18 | Hawk Talk Monthly — September | Game Notes


Serve it Up
The University of Iowa volleyball team wraps up the nonconference portion of its schedule at the American Volleyball Classic, facing Howard on Friday at 6 p.m. (CT) in Washington, D.C. The Hawkeyes then take on American and Princeton on Saturday at 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., respectively.
Listen/Follow Along

  • Live audio is available for all matches on Hawkeye All-Access at
  • Live stats for Saturday’s contests can be found on the schedule page at
  • Live streaming is available Saturday’s matchup at American and can be found on the schedule page at

Look Out for Louis

  • Outside hitter Taylor Louis has been dominant in Black and Gold with six double-digit kill matches, including a career-high 19 kills against Coastal Carolina on Sept. 2.
  • Louis leads the team with 115 kills and .335 attack percentage. Louis also has 16 blocks this season.


  • Halle Johnston, Claire Sheehan, and Gabrielle Orr played together on the Northern Lights (Minnesota) 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 Howard

  • Howard is 2-8 after dropping a 2-3 decision to VCU on Sept. 9 at the Jefferson Cup.
  • The Bison rank No. 54 in the nation in kills (487) and No. 59 in assists (451).
  • Tamia Dockery ranks No. 31 in the nation with 387 assists.
  • This is the first time in program history the Hawkeyes have faced Howard.

Scouting American

  • American is 5-5 after being swept by Coastal Carolina on Sept. 9 at the Spartan Spiketacular.
  • The Eagles are 31st in the nation with 525 kills. They rank No. 35 in assists with 486.
  • Aleksandra Kazala is sixth in the nation with 176 kills.
  • Iowa is 1-0 all-time against American after a 3-1 victory on Sept. 6, 2015.

Scouting Princeton

  • Princeton is 6-1 after a 3-1 victory over Connecticut on Sept. 9 at the Villanova Tournament.
  • The Tigers rank No. 41 in the nation with 13.22 assists per set. They rank No. 42 in kills per set with 13.96.
  • Maddie Huber ranks No. 36 with 5.15 digs per set.
  • This is the first time in program history Iowa has faced Princeton.

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 398 assists this season.
  • Orr has five matches with 40 or more assists and nine matches with 30 or more assists.
  • In addition to her assists, Orr has 30 kills through 10 games, including a career-high nine to help lead Iowa over Long Beach State on Aug. 26.
  • Orr amassed her first career double-double with 49 assists and 16 digs against No. 22 Iowa State on Sept. 8.

Can you Dig It?

  • Annika Olsen has reached double-digits in digs in 9-of-10 matches, with 21 in both matches against Coastal Carolina on Sept. 1 and 2.
  • Olsen ranks No. 10 in all-time digs (1,164).

Recent Career Highs

  • Ashley Smith recorded 10 digs against No. 22 Iowa State on Sept. 8.
  • Brie Orr had 16 digs against No. 22 Iowa State.
  • Reghan Coyle registered six blocks against No. 22 Iowa State.
  • Claire Sheehan tallied 13 kills and eight digs against No. 22 Iowa State.
  • Kelsey O’Neill had a .500 hitting percentage (9-16, one error) against No. 22 Iowa State; She recorded seven blocks against NIU on Sept. 8.
  • Cali Hoye amassed 13 kills and two blocks against NIU on Sept. 9.
  • Taylor Louis had three solo blocks against No. 22 Iowa State, tying a career-high.
  • Jess Janota tied a career-high with eight blocks against No. 22 Iowa State.

In the Nation

  • The Hawkeyes rank No. 43 in the nation with 13.17 assists per set.
  • Iowa ranks No. 48 in the nation with a .257 attack percentage.
  • Brie Orr is No. 23 in assists (398) and assists per set (11.37).

Record Broken

  • 3,136 Hawkeye faithful came out to watch Iowa take on Iowa State on Sept. 8. The Hawkeyes rank No. 8 in the nation for overall attendance with 9,476.
  • The Hawkeyes crushed the single-match attendance record as 4,131 fans watched Iowa take on No. 1 Nebraska on Nov. 19, 2017. Iowa’s previous single-match attendance record was 3,102 (Nov. 7, 2009 against Penn State).
  • The Hawkeyes have set 12 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 (2), Stanford (4), Wisconsin (5), Nebraska (10), Purdue (15), Iowa State (19), Michigan (21), Michigan State (23), Ohio State (25).
  • 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 open Big Ten play at Rutgers on Sept. 22 in New Brunswick, N.J., with a 6 p.m. (CT) first serve.