EVANSTON, Ill. — The University of Iowa volleyball team (7-5, 1-0) defeated the Northwestern Wildcats (9-4, 0-1), in four sets in the team’s Big Ten opener on Friday night inside Welsh-Ryan Arena.
Sophomore Courtney Buzzerio led Iowa with 15 kills, junior Brie Orr had 37 assists and a team-high 17 digs.
HEAR FROM COACH BROWN
“We worked a lot on believing in each other and that the teammate on either side of you is going to be able to execute. A big part was Courtney (Buzzerio). If you go across her statline, she has contributed a point or more in each statistic. She had a great game and it’s a testament of her coming into her own. It’s a team win at the end of the day. Brie (Orr) evened out the offense and kudos to our passing line. We worked a lot on that and they did a good job of executing today.”
HOW IT HAPPENED
SET 1 (25-17) | The Hawkeyes opened their Big Ten opener without a kill through their first five points, but remained ahead 5-3. Northwestern answered to take the lead 10-8 after three straight Wildcat aces. Both teams traded leads until a Courtney Buzzerio kill and Edina Schmidt block forced a Northwestern timeout as the momentum shifted in Iowa’s direction, leading 17-15. Iowa only gave up two more points the rest of the set as Schmidt and junior Griere Hughes took over. Schmidt added a kill and an ace, while Hughes finished the set with two straight kills.
SET 2 (25-23) | Iowa and Northwestern traded points until Northwestern gained a four-point advantage to force an Iowa timeout at 8-12. After a Northwestern rally, Iowa fought back to tie the score at 16 and force Northwestern to take its first timeout. Following the timeout, Iowa couldn’t retake the lead with the Wildcats answering every point with one of their own and the Hawkeyes fell, 25-23, to tie the set at one set each.
SET 3 (25-23) | The Hawkeyes battled through a tough third set with Northwestern leading through 16 points. After a Northwestern timeout, Iowa stretched its lead to two points, but the Wildcats tied the score at 21. Sophomore Hannah Clayton gave Iowa the lead after a kill, but a service error tied the score at 22. Schmidt and Hughes followed up with back-to-back kills to give Iowa set point as Northwestern called its second timeout. Iowa sealed the third set after a Wildcat service error.
SET 4 (25-22) | Iowa got out to a quick start, jumping on the Wildcats and forced a timeout leading 7-5, but Northwestern answered to take a two-point lead of itself at 11-9 to force an Iowa timeout. Both teams struggled to gain momentum, tying at each point until a kill by junior Brie Orr gave Iowa a 21-19 lead followed by a kill from Hughes and another from Orr. Iowa sat on match point for three points before a Northwestern attack error gave Iowa its first Big Ten win of the season.
- Head coach Vicki Brown is the second coach in Iowa history to win her first Big Ten opener (Dingman, 2008).
- Courtney Buzzerio tallied three aces and it marked her sixth multiple ace match of the season.
- Buzzerio added career-high five blocks
- Edina Schmidt notched a career-high 12 kills and 8 digs
The Hawkeyes head to Champaign, Illinois, for a matchup against No. 20 Illinois on Saturday at 7 p.m. (CT). Watch the match on BTN Plus or FloVolleyball. Links to both live streams can be found on the team’s schedule page at hawkeyesports.com.