The University of Iowa volleyball team travels to Harrisonburg, Virginia, for the James Madison Invitational. The Hawkeyes open the 2019 season against Stony Brook at 11 a.m. (CT) on Aug. 30. The Hawkeyes close the tournament on Aug. 31 with matchups against No. 22 Washington State at 9 a.m. and James Madison at 6 p.m.
HOW TO FOLLOW ALONG
- Live stats for each contest can be found on the team’s schedule page or on hawkeyesports.com/vblive.
- FloVolleyball (subscription required) will air Iowa’s match against Washington State.
- Madizone (free) will air Iowa’s match against James Madison.
24TH-RANKED RECRUITING CLASS
- The Hawkeyes’ 2019 recruiting class was ranked 24th in the nation by FloVolleyball last spring.
- Iowa is bringing in eight new faces, including Joslyn Boyer, Emma Lowes, Kyndra Hansen, Blythe Rients, Emma Grunkemeyer, Grace Tubbs, Edina Schmidt, and Jaedynn Evans.
- Of Iowa’s eight newcomers, two are from Iowa (Evans, Tubbs), while Hansen and Rients are from Minnesota, Boyer is from Illinois, Grunkemeyer is from Nebraska, Lowes is from Texas, and Schmidt is from Germany.
NEW HEAD HAWKEYE
- Vicki Brown was named interim head coach on May 20, 2019, after serving as associate head coach for two seasons, where she was in charge of Iowa’s defense and recruiting efforts.
- Under Brown’s guidance, Iowa brought in the 24th-ranked recruiting class in the nation in 2019.
- On the court, Iowa ranked fourth in the Big Ten in 2018 with 15.36 digs per set. Then-senior Molly Kelly led the conference in total digs (619) and digs per set (5.12).
- Last season, freshman Hannah Clayton entered Iowa’s all-time top-10 at No. 10 with 10 blocks in a single match against Indiana on Nov. 16, 2018.
FACING THE BEST
- Iowa faces eight teams currently ranked in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Week one poll – Nebraska (2), Minnesota (3), Wisconsin (5), Illinois (6), Penn State (8), Michigan (15), Purdue (17), and Washington State (22).
- In each of the last three years, the Big Ten has been represented by two teams in the NCAA Final Four.
- 14 of Iowa’s 31 matches are against ranked teams, 12 against teams inside the Big Ten.
- Seven of Iowa’s final 10 matches this season are against teams ranked inside the top-25.
MORE FROM ORR
- Junior Brie Orr enters her junior year as team captain and the team’s most essential player.
- Over two seasons, Orr has amassed 2,443 assists, eighth in program history. She trails Loxley Keala by 16 assists for seventh all-time.
- Orr’s 1,242 assists in 2018 are the second most in program history since the 25-point scoring format was implemented in 2008.
- Orr has played in every match in her career, averaging 10.35 assists per set.
- On Oct. 6, 2018, Orr tied her career high with 59 assists in an upset-victory over then-No.6 Wisconsin in five sets.
- On Oct. 21, 2018, Orr became the ninth player in program history to eclipse 2,000 career assists with her 19th assist in the third set against Wisconsin.
ONE LAST LAP FOR BUZZERIO
- Fifth-year senior Meghan Buzzerio begins her final season at Iowa.
- The Chino Hills, Calif., native has played in 84 career matches with 469 kills.
- Buzzerio’s experience and hard work have earned her a starting position for week one.
- Buzzerio set a career-high in kills, attempts, attack percentage, assists, and blocks in 2018, including 23 kills in Iowa’s second-to-last match against Maryland on Nov. 23.
WE’RE THE CAPTAINS NOW
- Heading into the 2019 season, Iowa has three team captains: seniors Emily Bushman and Meghan Buzzerio and junior Brie Orr.
BLOCKERS IN THE MIDDLE
- Sophomore Amiya Jones and Hannah Clayton return for their second season as Iowa’s starting middle blockers.
- After spending the first season adjusting to the speed of the game, the duo look to play a bigger role in 2019.
- Jones played in every match during her freshman season, totaling 97 blocks and 161 kills.
- Clayton saw action in 28 matches and her 10 total blocks against Indiana on Nov. 16 is tied for 10th in a single-match program history.
HOW’S THE WEATHER UP THERE?
- With the addition of eight freshman, the Hawkeyes got taller in the offseason.
- Of Iowa’s eight newcomers, four are 6-2 or taller, including Grace Tubbs (6-4), Emma Grunkemeyer (6-3), Blythe Rients (6-2), and Kyndra Hansen (6-2).
BUZZERIO CHANGES POSITIONS
- Sophomore Courtney Buzzerio saw her position change during the offseason.
- Buzzerio joined Iowa as a setter, but is making the transition to a right side hitter this season.
- After the graduation of Reghan Coyle, the Hawkeyes had an opening at the position and Buzzerio’s 6-5 stature provides a unique skillset at the spot.
- Buzzerio saw action in 15 matches last season, amassing 33 assists and 7 blocks.
GET YOUR BROOMS READY
- The Hawkeyes went 4-0 in three-set matches during the 2018 nonconference season.
- Iowa swept Belmont, South Dakota State, Drake, and Eastern Illinois.
- Iowa recorded two sweeps at the Drake Invitational on Sept. 8, 2018, 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 PREMIER CONFERENCE
- The Big Ten Conference has had an NCAA champion in nine of the last 15 years.
- Seven teams – Penn State, Michigan, Nebraska, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Purdue, – appeared in the 2018 NCAA Tournament.
GOING THE DISTANCE
- In 2018, Iowa played 10 matches that lasted five sets, going 4-6 with wins over Northwestern, Wisconsin, Syracuse, and Ohio State, and dropping 3-2 losses to Lipscomb, Purdue twice, Indiana, Maryland, and Northwestern.
- Iowa’s 121 total sets last season was second in the Big Ten.
- Iowa finished the season with four straight 5-set matches – the first time in its history to play more than three consecutive 5-set matches.
ITS OPENING SEASON
- The Hawkeyes have won their last four season openers.
- Iowa is 29-13 all-time in their season openers.
FOLLOW THE HAWKEYES
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SCOUTING STONY BROOK
- Stony Brook finished 2018 21-9 overall and 12-0 in the American East conference.
- The Seawolves qualified for the 2018 NCAA Tournament.
- Senior outside hitter Maria Poole was named to the America East All-Conference second team, playing in all 103 sets with 251 kills.
- Leanna Sakowicz begins her senior season after leading the team with 110 assists and was second on the team with 22 service aces.
- This is Iowa and Stony Brook’s first ever meeting.
SCOUTING WASHINGTON STATE
- No. 22 Washington State completed the 2018 season 23-10 overall and 12-8 in the Pac-12.
- The Cougars qualified for the 2018 NCAA Tournament and advanced to the sweet sixteen before bowing out to Stanford.
- Senior setter Ashley Brown was selected to the 2018 U.S. Collegiate National Team-Detroit. Brown amassed 1,364 assists last season and was named All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention.
- Senior middle blocker Jocelyn Urias earned AVCA All-American Honorable Mention last year, leading the team with a .325 attack percentage and added 128 total blocks.
- Washington State leads the all-time series 2-0.
SCOUTING JAMES MADISON
- James Madison finished last season at 22-7 overall and 13-7 in the Colonial Athletic Association.
- Senior middle blocker M’Kaela White is James Madison’s only returner to have played in each match last season.
- She was named Preseason All-CAA and was a 2018 First-Team All-CAA honoree.
- This is Iowa and James Madison’s first ever meeting.