The University of Iowa volleyball team begins a four-match homestand this weekend against No. 7 Penn State and Rutgers. The Hawkeyes battle the Nittany Lions on Friday and the Scarlet Knights on Saturday. Both matches are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. (CT) inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
HOW TO FOLLOW ALONG
- Live stats for each contest are linked on the team’s schedule page or on hawkeyesports.com/vblive.
- Listen to this weekend’s matches on Hawkeye All-Access with John Evans on the call.
- A live stream of this weekend’s matches are available on BTN+ or FloVolleyball (subscriptions required).
- Sophomore middle blocker Amiya Jones enjoyed a career day against the Hoosiers on Oct. 26.
- Jones recorded a career-high seven aces, including three consecutive, and a career-high 15 kills in Iowa’s five-set victory.
- The Indianapolis, native is tied for first in the Big Ten for the most aces in a single match this season. Her effort is seventh in the NCAA.
- The Hawkeyes defeated Indiana, 3-2, on Oct. 26 to complete a season sweep of the Hoosiers for Iowa’s second season sweep in three seasons.
- Iowa came back in the fifth set after trailing 12-14 thanks to a kill from freshman Kyndra Hansen and ace by junior Halle Johnston to tie the score at 14. Sophomore Amiya Jones gave Iowa the lead on a cross-court kill and a Hoosier net violation awarded the Hawkeyes the victory.
- Freshman Joslyn Boyer notched a career-high 14 digs.
- Sophomore Amiya Jones tallied a career-hig seven aces and 15 kills.
- Sophomore Courtney Buzzerio registered a career-high 51 assists.
- Sophomore Hannah Clayton added a season-high seven blocks.
- The win was Iowa’s first five-set win of the year.
RIENTS’ BLOCK PARTY
- Freshman Blythe Rients’ 11 total blocks (10 BA, 1 BS) against Indiana on Oct. 20 ties her for sixth in Iowa single-match history.
- The Eagan, Minnesota, native’s 11 blocks are tied for the most in the Big Ten this season and most among Big Ten players in a four set match.
- Nationally, Rients joins nine other players who have reached 11 total blocks in a match.
- Rients’ 11 blocks are the most by a Hawkeyes since Sept. 2, 2011.
- In Rients three starts in her career, she has amassed at least three blocks in each contest.
ORR MILESTONE WATCH
- Junior Brie Orr moved into fifth on Iowa’s all-time career assists list following Iowa’s victory over Indiana on Oct. 20.
- Orr surpassed Barb Zvonek (1995-98) and Nikki Dailey (2010-13) for sixth and fifth all-time with a 40-assist night.
- Orr now trails Kathy Griesheim by 921 assists for fourth all-time.
- Orr is third the Big Ten with 767 assists in 2019 and is eighth with 10.09 assists per set.
- 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 is averaging 10.31 assists per set in her career.
JOHNSTON GOES FOR 30 AGAINST INDIANA
- Junior Halle Johnston led an Iowa backline that finished with a season-high 82 digs against Indiana on Oct. 20.
- Johnston tied a career high with 30 digs.
- The Lakeville, Minn., native’s performance is tied for ninth in Iowa single-match history and is the most digs by a Hawkeye in a match since Molly Kelly recorded 34 against Maryland on Nov. 23, 2018.
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 70 sets this season with 106 digs.
- Boyer added a career-high 14 digs at Indiana on Oct. 26.
- Boyer has set career highs in two of her last three matches.
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 4.72 digs/set to currently rank second in the Big Ten.
- Johnston is second in the conference with 373 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).
- Iowa is in the top half of the Big Ten in hitting percentage.
- The Hawkeyes rank sixth in the Big Ten with a .242 team attack percentage (1066-396-2765).
- Nationally, the Hawkeyes rank 45th in hitting percentage.
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.
WE’RE THE CAPTAINS NOW
- Iowa has three team captains: seniors Emily Bushman and Meghan Buzzerio, and junior Brie Orr.
FACING THE BEST
- Iowa faces seven teams currently ranked in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Week nine coaches poll – Wisconsin (4), Minnesota (6), Penn State (7), Nebraska (8), Washington (12), Purdue (16), and Illinois (19).
- 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.
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 PENN STATE
- Penn State is 16-3 overall and 9-1 in conference.
- The Nittany Lions are on a seven game winning streak.
- Offensively, Jonni Parker leads Penn State with 235 kills and 4.25 kills per set.
- Defensively, Serena Gray’s 53 blocks paces the team, while Kendall White leads Penn State with 268 digs.
- Iowa trails the all-time series 54-0.
- Penn State is coached by Russ Rose, who is in his 40th season.
- Rutgers is 7-14 overall and 1-9 in Big Ten play.
- The Scarlet Knights are coming off of a five-set victory over Northwestern on Oct. 27.
- Rutgers faces Nebraska on Nov. 1 before facing Iowa.
- Tali Marmen paces Rutgers with 154 kills and 23 aces.
- Rutgers is fourth in the Big Ten, averaging 2.56 blocks per set.
- Iowa leads the all-time series 8-0.
- Rutgers is led by CJ Werneke, who is in his 12th season.