Iowa Travels to Michigan, No. 10 Michigan State

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Serve it Up
The University of Iowa volleyball team hits the road this week, traveling to Michigan on Friday for a 5 p.m. (CT) first serve on Big Ten Network. Iowa then visits East Lansing, Michigan, to take on No. 10 Michigan State on Saturday at 5:30 p.m.
Listen/Follow Along

  • Live audio is available for all matches on Hawkeye All-Access at
  • Live stats can be found on the schedule page at
  • Friday’s match is on BTN. A live streaming link for BTN2Go can be found on the schedule page at A live streaming link for Saturday’s match on BTNPlus can also be found on the schedule page at

In the Nation

  • The Hawkeyes rank No. 36 in the nation with 13.05 assists per set.
  • Iowa ranks No. 57 in the nation with a .246 attack percentage.
  • Iowa’s 13.91 kills per set rank No. 32 nationally.
  • Brie Orr is No. 34 in assists (887) and No. 32 in assists per set (11.09).

Around the League

  • Iowa leads the Big Ten in assists (1,044), digs (1,217), and kills (1,113).
  • Annika Olsen leads the conference in total digs (389) and digs per set (4.86).
  • Brie Orr is second in the conference in assists (887) and seventh in assists per set (11.09).

Look Out for Louis

  • Outside hitter Taylor Louis has been dominant in Black and Gold with 18 double-digit kill matches, including a career-high 19 kills against Coastal Carolina on Sept. 2.
  • Louis leads the team with 276 kills and a .275 attack percentage. Louis also has 36 blocks this season.

Scouting Michigan

  • Michigan is 14-8 overall and 4-6 in Big Ten action after splitting a pair of decisions last week. After a 3-1 loss at Michigan State on Oct. 18, the Wolverines secured a 3-1 victory at Ohio State on Oct. 22.
  • Michigan ranks No. 40 in the nation in kills per set (13.87).
  • Mackenzie Welsh is ranked No. 47 in the nation and No. 10 in the Big Ten with 10.66 assists (778 overall).
  • Iowa is 25-40 all-time against the Wolverines. The Hawkeyes defeated then-No. 22 Michigan earlier this season, securing a 3-1 victory on Oct. 4.

Scouting No. 10 Michigan State

  • The Spartans are 15-4 overall, 8-2 in Big Ten play, and ranked No. 10 in the nation after two wins last week. Michigan State topped Michigan, 3-1, on Oct. 18 before sweeping Maryland on Oct. 21.
  • Michigan State is second in the conference and No. 15 in the nation with 1.69 aces per set (108 overall).
  • Alyssa Garvelink ranks No. 14 in the nation and third in the Big Ten with 1.48 blocks per set (93 overall).
  • Michigan State leads the all-time series, 48-24. Michigan State won the last meeting, 3-1, on Nov. 26, 2016. Iowa last topped the Spartans on Oct. 20, 2009, with a 3-0 sweep. MSU was ranked No. 18 in the nation at the time.

Orr’s Big Role

  • Freshman Brie Orr has taken charge of the Hawkeye offense, amassing 38 assists in the season opener and eclipsing that mark with 59 assists against No. 22 Michigan on Oct. 4. She has 887 assists this season.
  • After registering 117 assists, 13 kills, and a .500 attack percentage in three matches at the American Volleyball Classic on Sept. 15-16, Orr was named B1G co-Freshman of the Week.
  • Orr has three matches with 50 or more assists, 10 matches with 40 or more assists, and 18 matches with 30 or more assists.
  • Orr has four career double-doubles, the most recent coming in the form of 52 assists and 12 digs against Illinois on Oct. 20.

Can you Dig It?

  • Annika Olsen has reached double digits in digs in 21 matches, including a career-high 29 digs twice, at Indiana on Oct. 11 and against Illinois on Oct. 20.
  • Olsen ranks No. 6 in all-time digs (1,390).

Sheehan’s Groove

  • Claire Sheehan had a monster match at American on Sept. 16, amassing a personal-best 19 kills, a .429 attack percentage, eight digs, and a career-best three blocks.
  • Sheehan followed up the match at American with 11 kills against Princeton. The freshman has nine double-digit kill matches this season.
  • Overall, Sheehan has 187 kills and averages 2.79 kills per set.

The Attendance Game

  • The Hawkeyes shattered their all-time attendance record as 4,729 fans watched Iowa take on No. 4 Nebraska on Oct. 7. Iowa’s previous single-match attendance record was 4,131 (No. 1 Nebraska on Nov. 19, 2016).
  • 3,136 Hawkeye faithful came out to watch Iowa take on Iowa State on Sept. 8, a mark that ranks No. 3 in program history in single match attendance.
  • The Hawkeyes rank No. 10 in the nation for overall attendance with 23,278.
  • For the first time in program history, Iowa had back-to-back matches with 2,000-or-more fans in attendance (2,169 against Wisconsin on Sept. 29; 2,165 against Minnesota on Sept. 30).
  • The Hawkeyes have set 12 top 20 attendance marks since head coach Bond Shymansky took the helm in 2014, with four of those occurring this season.

Hot Start

  • Iowa opened the season 12-3, its best start since 1994 (12-3).
  • The Hawkeyes swept Rutgers, 3-0, in their conference opener Sept. 22, 2017. It was the first time Iowa won its conference opener since a 3-1 victory over Wisconsin on Sept. 23, 2009.

Challenging Schedule

  • Eight Iowa opponents are currently ranked – Penn State (1), Stanford (2), Minnesota (5), Nebraska (7), Wisconsin (9), Michigan State (10), Purdue (17), Iowa State (22).
  • The Hawkeyes’ schedule features 15 teams that reached the 2016 NCAA Tournament.
  • The nonconference schedule included 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 faced five straight teams — Penn State (2), Wisconsin (7), and Minnesota (3), Michigan (22), and Nebraska (4) — that were ranked in the AVCA poll at the time of the match.


  • Halle Johnston, Claire Sheehan, and Brie 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.

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 Brie 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
Iowa returns home on Nov. 3, facing Indiana in a 7 p.m. (CT) first serve. The Hawkeyes face No. 17 Purdue at 2 p.m. on Nov. 5.