By JACK ROSSI
IOWA CITY, Iowa — The graduation of the nation’s active kills leader Taylor Louis left an opening in the University of Iowa volleyball team’s lineup heading into 2019. While redshirt senior Meghan Buzzerio and junior Griere Hughes return as Iowa’s frontrunners for the position, freshmen Kyndra Hansen and Edina Schmidt will push for playing time.
“The biggest vacancy is our L1 position after losing Taylor Louis,” head coach Vicki Brown said. “That is a big part for us, but we have a good core of talent battling for the outside hitter position.”
Additions: Kyndra Hansen, Edina Schmidt
Losses: Taylor Louis, Cali Hoye
Redshirt senior Meghan Buzzerio returns as Iowa’s most experienced outside hitter. After setting a career-high 23 kills in Iowa’s second-to-last regular season match in 2018, Buzzerio entered the spring determined to lock down the position.
“She has shown that she can compete and execute in the Big Ten,” head coach Vicki Brown said. “She’s a great sixth rotation outside for us. Meghan is quiet when you meet her, but over the spring it flipped and she showed her alter ego. I’m excited to see what she does in the preseason.”
Buzzerio set career-highs last season in kills (23), attack percentage (1.000), assists (3), and total blocks (4) with appearances in all 31 matches.
Freshman Kyndra Hansen arrives in Iowa City with the most decorated high school resume among the newcomers. Hansen, a White Bear Lake, Minnesota, native played on the same club volleyball team as juniors Brie Orr and Halle Johnston, going 128-9 in eight seasons with the team, including a national championship in the USAV Open in 2018.
Hansen was a 2019 AAU 18 Open All-American, Team MVP, and school-record holder in kills (1,611), digs (1,130), aces (235), blocks (240), and hitting percentage (.306).
“Kyndra had a fantastic high school career,” Brown added. “Her club team has won a couple different national championships and she always played a big role on her team. She has always been one to step up in key moments and help her team win.”
The Iowa volleyball team opens its season at home Sept. 6 against Colorado in the Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge at 7 p.m. (CT). Purchase tickets online at hawkeyesports.com or over the phone at 800-IA-HAWKS.