Editor’s Note: This is the final part in a four-part series previewing the University of Iowa volleyball team’s 2019 season. The last installment previews the Hawkeye setters.
IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa volleyball team has enjoyed consistency from the setter position for the past two years. Junior Brie Orr returns as an upperclassmen and team captain, looking to solidify herself as one of the best setters in the Big Ten.
“We’re solid (at setter),” head coach Vicki Brown said. “This is Brie Orr’s third season as a starting setter, and it’s been cool to see how she has developed as a leader. She is getting a lot of reassurance from her teammates and from me as her coach.”
SET UP FOR SUCCESS
Orr has started all 64 matches in her career, amassing 2,443 assists to rank eighth in program history. With experience and statistics backing her, leadership is where Orr has improved most heading into 2019.
“That was always a component she was lacking during her first two years,” Brown said. “She has figured out how to be a vocal leader. Brie is one of our captains and rightfully so. She worked hard and still works hard to maintain her trust with our returners and freshmen.”
Orr’s leadership and experience is going to provide a young Hawkeye team consistency during the season.
“It’s going to be fun to see how it looks and feels on the court when you’re second contact is leading the charge,” Brown said. “I am excited to see her third season get started.”
CHANGE OF PACE
While Orr is expected to see a majority of the playing time during the season, sophomore Courtney Buzzerio, and the team’s tallest player at 6-5, could provide a change of pace on the court.
Buzzerio only saw action in 24 sets last season, but she has reinvented herself as a more all-around volleyball player over the summer and may contribute at a couple different positions this season.
“I’m sure a lot of our fans were surprised that we didn’t give a lot of playing time to a player who is 6-5, but Courtney needed this spring,” Brown said. “Courtney Buzzerio is going to be the one coming in and demanding attention, and she is going to earn it. She is going to find a way to execute whether she comes in as a setter or right side.”
The Hawkeyes open the 2019 season tomorrow at the James Madison Invitational against Stony Brook at 11 a.m. (CT). Live stats of the match are available on hawkeyesports.com/vblive. Tickets for the 2019 home volleyball season are still available on hawkeyesports.com/tickets.