SERVE IT UP
The University of Iowa volleyball team opens its Big Ten season hosting Michigan State on Friday night at 7 p.m. (CT) and #18 Michigan on Sunday at 2 p.m. Both games are inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Live stats for each contest can be found on the Iowa volleyball schedule page at hawkeyesports.com/vblive.
A live stream of both matches are available on FloVolleyball or BTN Plus (subscriptions required).
- Friday’s contest will serve as alumni night as many former Hawkeye volleyball players make their return to Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
- Friday is also a whiteout. The first 1,000 fans will receive a white shirt.
- Sunday’s match against Michigan is Sundaes on Sunday. Fans can purchase ice cream for $1.
IT’S A HAWKEYE STATE
- The Hawkeyes broke a 21-year old drought Sept. 14, defeating Iowa State in four sets (25-20, 25-21, 23-25, 25-20) at the Cyclone Classic in Ames, Iowa.
- It is the first time Iowa has won in Ames since Sept. 13, 1997.
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.
STREAKING INTO CONFERENCE
The Hawkeyes are riding a six-game winning streak heading into the first two games of the Big Ten season.
- Iowa completed two sweeps at the Drake Invitational on Sept. 8, defeating South Dakota State and Drake before sweeping Eastern Illinois in its home opener on Sept. 9. The last time Iowa swept three different teams in the span of two days was Sept. 19-20, 2008 (Portland, DePaul, Tulsa)
- The Hawkeyes doubled their winning streak at the Cyclone Classic. Iowa downed Iowa State in four sets on Sept. 14, and followed up with another four-set win over Wyoming and a five-set victory against Syracuse on Sept. 15.
- Iowa was named the Cyclone Classic Champions.
FOLLOW THE LEADER
- Senior Taylor Louis continues to pace the country in active career kills. Louis’ 1,715 career kills leads the NCAA by 154 (Jaali Winters; Creighton) and is 1,692 kills ahead of the country’s third leading player (Carlisa May, Arkansas State).
- Louis ranks first in the Big Ten with 4.41 kills per set and is second in the Big Ten with 181 total kills.
- Louis’s 4.41 kills per set places her 23rd in the NCAA and her 4.77 points per set is good for 30th.
DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Iowa’s defense has been ranked among the best in the Big Ten in 2018.
- Molly Kelly is ranked second in the Big Ten in digs per set with 5.19.
- Freshman Hannah Clayton ranks 12th in the Big Ten with 43 total blocks and anchors an Iowa defense that is 10th in the conference in blocks per set with 2.80.
DIGGING FOR GOLD
- Senior Molly Kelly has started at libero for the Hawkeyes during the first four weeks of competition.
- Kelly’s 218 digs ranks first in the Big Ten and her 5.19 digs per set is second in the conference.
- Nationally, Kelly is 34th in digs per set (5.19).
- At the Cyclone Classic, Kelly recorded 66 digs and 5.08 digs per set over three matches and was named to the All-Tournament team.
ORR ROWING THE BOAT
- Sophomore setter Brie Orr returns to Iowa as the team’s premier setter after recording 1,201 assists in 2017 – the second most assists in single-season program history since the 25-point scoring format was implemented in 2008.
- Orr ranks ninth all-time in career assists (1,489), trailing Jitka Stehnova (2,159) for eighth all-time.
- Orr leads Iowa with 430 assists through 11 matches and averages 10.24 assists per set, which is eighth in the Big Ten.
FRESHMEN PLAYING TIME
After four weeks of play, four freshmen have seen extended playing time – Courtney Buzzerio, Amiya Jones, Hannah Clayton, and Maddie Slagle. All four have played in every match this season.
- Buzzerio, a native of Chino Hills, California, ranks third on the team with 31 assists and chipped in a career-high eight assists against No. 13 Washington on Aug. 31.
- Jones, a middle blocker from Indianapolis, is second on the team in total blocks with 42. She reached a career-high with seven blocks in a win over Drake on Sept. 8.
- Clayton, a middle blocker, hails from Bloomington, Illinois. She leads the team in total blocks with 43.
- Slagle, a defensive specialists from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is fifth on the team with 55 digs.
SCOUTING MICHIGAN STATE
- Michigan State holds a 12-1 record entering Big Ten play.
- The Spartans lead the conference in service aces with 96, 15 more than the second place team (Purdue, 78).
- Naya Gros leads the Big Ten in hitting percentage (.481) and is second in the country.
- Iowa is 24-29 all-time against the Spartans.
- Michigan enters the weekend with an unblemished 11-0 record.
- Michigan leads the Big Ten in assists per set (13.94) and kills per set (14.79).
- The Wolverines face off against #3 Nebraska on Friday before heading to Iowa City on Sunday.
- Nationally, Michigan ranks fifth in kills per set and assists per set and is second in opponent hitting percentage.
- The Hawkeyes trail the all-time series, 25-41.
SHYMANSKY APPROACHING WINS MILESTONES
Head coach Bond Shymansky’s 71 wins at Iowa is third in program history. He passed former head coach Sharon Dingman earlier this season (66).Shymansky trails Linda Shoenstedt for second in Iowa history with 84 wins and trails Sandy Stewart’s 136 wins for most in program history.
B1G OPENERS UNDER SHYMANSKY
- Head coach Bond Symansky is 1-3 in Big Ten openers at Iowa.
- Iowa defeated Rutgers in 2017, but fell to Nebraska in 2014 and 2015, and Michigan State in 2016.
CAN THEY DO IT AGAIN?
The last time the Hawkeyes defeated a ranked opponent in Carver-Hawkeye Arena was against #22 Michigan in four sets on Oct. 4, 2017.
FACING THE BEST
- Iowa faces eight teams currently ranked in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) week 4 poll – Nebraska (3), Penn State (4), Wisconsin (6), Minnesota (7), Illinois (8), Washington (13), Purdue (16), Michigan (18).
- The Hawkeyes’ schedule features 11 teams that reached the 2017 NCAA Tournament.
- The nonconference schedule included three teams that competed at the 2017 NCAA Tournament, including Iowa State, Colorado, and Washington.
- Iowa will play all eight Big Ten NCAA Tournament teams from a year ago. Those teams combined to go 206-64 in 2017.
TRUE MENTAL TOUGHNESS
The Hawkeyes continue their True Mental Toughness mantra in 2018. 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.
THE PREMIER CONFERENCE
The Big Ten Conference has had an NCAA champion in nine of the last 14 years.
Eight teams – Penn State, Michigan, Nebraska, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Purdue, and Michigan State – appeared in the 2017 NCAA Tournament.
BIG TEN NETWORK
Iowa plays on the Big Ten Network twice in 2018. The Hawkeyes’ first game on the network is on Oct. 3 at Nebraska at 6 p.m. (CT). Northwestern will visit Iowa City on Oct. 24 for the second televised game of the season at 8 p.m.
SEASON TICKETS ON SALE
Season tickets and general admission tickets for Iowa’s home matches are on sale at the UI athletics ticket office and online at hawkeyesports.com/tickets. Season tickets for reserved seating is $45 and general admission season tickets are $30.
The Hawkeyes travel to Illinois for two Big Ten matchups. Iowa faces Illinois on Sept. 28 at 7 p.m. (CT) and then heads north for a game at Northwestern on Sept. 30 at 1 p.m.