The University of Iowa volleyball team hosts the Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge this weekend. The Hawkeyes face Colorado Friday at 7 p.m. (CT) and 16th-ranked Washington Saturday at 7 p.m. Both matches will be inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
HOW TO FOLLOW ALONG
- Live stats for each contest can be found on the team’s schedule page or on hawkeyesports.com/vblive.
- BTN Plus and Flovolleyball (subscriptions required) will stream both of Iowa’s matches.
- Friday 4 Pack – Fans can purchase four tickets for only $10 (tickets must be purchased prior to day of match).
- Football Ticket Special – Fans attending Saturday’s football game can bring their ticket to Carver-Hawkeye Arena for free admission.
- Iowa makes its 2019 home debut Friday against Colorado.
- The Hawkeyes have won their last four home openers.
HAWKEYES SWEEP NO. 22 WASHINGTON STATE
- Iowa defeated No. 22 Washington State on Aug. 31 for the team’s first win over a ranked team this season and second win overall.
- The victory is Iowa’s first win over a ranked opponent on the road since Oct. 12, 2012, when Iowa downed the Boilermakers in West Lafayette.
- Iowa held the edge in kills (46-28), blocks (6-5), assists (37-26), and digs (49-43).
- Senior Meghan Buzzerio and junior Griere Hughes led Iowa with 12 kills each.
- Junior Brie Orr added a match-high 32 assists.
- Junior Halle Johnston tallied 21 digs.
THREE AND OH MY
- After the first weekend of competition, Iowa shares the Big Ten lead with four other teams.
- After going 3-0 at the JMU Invitational, interim head coach Vicki Brown is the first head coach in school history to win her first three matches.
- Iowa is one of three conference teams to go 2-0 at a neutral site and is one of two teams to remain undefeated without having played a home match.
BREAKOUT WEEKEND FOR HUGHES
- Junior Griere Hughes has been Iowa’s most effective outside hitter through the first weekend.
- After playing in only three sets in 2018, Hughes played in all 10 of Iowa’s sets, tallying a team-high .404 hitting percentage, which ranks 10th in the Big Ten.
- Hughes set a career high with 14 kills in the season opening sweep over Stony Brook.
- Hughes’ efforts translate to the defensive side where she is tied for second on the team with seven total blocks and leads all outside hitters.
- Senior Meghan Buzzerio and sophomore Courtney Buzzerio have provided Iowa a potent spark on offense.
- The Buzzerio sisters have combined for 43% (60-137) of Iowa’s kills and 66.7% (10-15) of Iowa’s service aces and through three matches.
- In her first season as a right-side hitter, Courtney Buzzerio has added 20 kills through three matches to rank fourth on the team.
- Meghan Buzzerio leads the Hawkeyes with 40 kills and four kills per set. She ranks 14th in the conference with a .374 hitting percentage.
- Iowa is among the Big Ten’s best in hitting percentage and opponent hitting percentage through the first weekend.
- The Hawkeyes rank third in the Big Ten with a .331 team attack percentage, earning 137 kills in 308 attempts with 35 errors.
- Defensively, the Hawkeyes have held opponents to a .105 hitting percentage to place fourth among Big Ten foes.
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, when 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.
FACING THE BEST
- Iowa faces seven teams currently ranked in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Week one poll – Nebraska (2), Wisconsin (4), Illinois (5), Penn State (6), Minnesota (8), Michigan (14), and Purdue (17).
- 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.
- Orr has amassed 2,541 assists in her career to rank seventh in program history. She trails Barb Zvonek for sixth 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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
- Colorado is 3-0 after one weekend of competition.
- Colorado swept Wyoming and LIU Brooklyn, and defeated UC Santa Barbara in four sets.
- Justine Spann paces the Buffalo offense with 5.25 kills per set, while Jenna Ewert has 99 assists.
- Iowa is 0-2 against Colorado in program history.
- No. 16 Washington enters the Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge at 2-1.
- The Huskies defeated St. John’s and San Diego before dropping a match to No. 20 Hawaii.
- Offensively, Washington is led by Kara Bajema, who has tallied 37 kills and 4.88 kills per set through eight sets.
- Iowa is 0-2 all-time against the Huskies.