The University of Iowa volleyball team continues the Big Ten season with its Big Ten home opener Wednesday at 6 p.m. (CT) against No. 7 Minnesota live on the Big Ten Network. This weekend, Iowa travels to State College, Penn., for a matchup against No. 5 Penn State at 6 p.m.
HOW TO FOLLOW ALONG
- Live stats for each contest are linked on the team’s schedule page or on hawkeyesports.com/vblive.
- A live stream of both matches are available on BTN+ or FloVolleyball (subscriptions required).
INTERIM NO MORE
- Vicki Brown was named Iowa’s permanent head coach on Sept. 26, removing the interim tag she has had since May 20.
- Brown agreed to a five-year contract to remain in Iowa City through the 2024 season.
- Brown joined Iowa’s staff as associate head coach in 2017, taking charge of Iowa’s defensive and recruiting efforts.
- Brown helped Iowa bring in the nation’s 24th-ranked recruiting class for the 2019 season.
- Brown is the youngest coach in the Big Ten at 33 years old.
- The Toledo, Ohio, native graduated from Illinois in 2008 with a degree in communications.
- Iowa defeated Northwestern, 3-1, on Sept. 27 for its third-straight Big Ten opening victory. Iowa defeated Rutgers in 2017 and Michigan State in 2018.
- The Hawkeyes are now 16-27-2 all-time in Big Ten openers.
- Head coach Vicki Brown is the second coach in program history to win her first Big Ten opener, joining Sharon Dingman in 2008.
NEW LIBERO, NO PROBLEM
- Halle Johnston took over as Iowa’s libero entering her junior season.
- Johnston continues the trend of effective Iowa liberos with 4.79 digs/set to currently rank second in the Big Ten.
- Johnston is second in the conference with 225 total digs.
- Johnston can become the third straight Iowa libero to lead the conference in total digs and digs per set (Olsen, 2017; Kelly, 2018).
- The Lakeville, Minn., native set a career-high 30 digs against Wyoming on Sept. 13. It is Iowa’s first 30+ dig performance since Nov. 23, 2018.
NEXT BUZZERIO UP
- Sophomore Courtney Buzzerio stepped up to provide much-needed offense with the absence of her sister, redshirt senior Meghan Buzzerio.
- Courtney Buzzerio has played in all 49 for the Hawkeyes this season, amassing 132 kills to rank second on the team.
- Courtney’s 18 service aces lead the team and is tied for fifth in the Big Ten.
- In Big Ten play, Courtney leads the team with seven total blocks (3 BA, 4 BS).
- Iowa is in the top half of the Big Ten in hitting percentage.
- The Hawkeyes rank sixth in the Big Ten with a .265 team attack percentage (656-218-1650).
- Freshman Edina Schmidt’s playtime has increased steadily over Iowa’s last four matches after making her debut in Iowa’s eighth match.
- Schmidt has averaged 21 total attempts per match in her last four matches.
- In Iowa’s Big Ten opener, Schmidt tallied a career-high 11 kills on 32 attempts along with one service ace and two solo blocks.
- The Berlin, Germany, native also added a career-high three service aces against Coastal Carolina on Sept. 20.
BOYER LEADING FRESHMEN PLAYING TIME
- Freshman Joslyn Boyer is leading Iowa freshmen in playing time this season.
- Boyer, a Downers Grove, Ill. native, has played in 38 sets this season with 51 digs.
- Boyer added a career-high eight digs against Lipscomb on Sept. 20.
HAWKEYES SWEEP NO. 22 WASHINGTON STATE
- Iowa defeated No. 22 Washington State on Aug. 31 for the team’s first win over a ranked opponent this season and second win overall.
- The victory was 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.
ORR CAREER ASSIST TRACKER
- Junior Brie Orr enters her junior year as team captain.
- Orr has amassed 2,936 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 of her career, averaging 10.30 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.
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.
FACING THE BEST
- Iowa faces seven teams currently ranked in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Week four poll – Nebraska (3), Penn State (5), Minnesota (7), Washington (8), Wisconsin (13), Purdue (15), and Illinois (20)
- 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.
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
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SCOUTING NO. 7 MINNESOTA
- Northwestern is 8-2 overall and 2-0 in the Big Ten.
- The Golden Gophers swept Indiana and Purdue in their first two Big Ten matches of the season.
- Minnesota paces the country with 15.39 kills per set.
- Defensively, Minnesota leads the conference and is fifth in the nation with 18.42 digs per set.
- Iowa trails the all-time series 12-68.
- Minnesota is coached by Hugh McCutcheon, who is in his eighth season.
SCOUTING NO. 5 PENN STATE
- Penn State is 9-2 overall and 2-0 in Big Ten play.
- The Nittany Lions swept their first two Big Ten opponents, Michigan State and Rutgers and face Wisconsin on Oct. 2 before hosting the Hawkeyes on Oct. 5.
- Penn State is tied for the lead in the Big Ten with a .285 hitting percentage.
- Serena Gray’s .456 hitting percentage is atop the conference.
- Iowa trails the all-time series 0-53.
- Penn State is coached by Russ Rose, who is in his 40th season.