The University of Iowa volleyball team hits the road for two matchups this week. The Hawkeyes travel to Ann Arbor, Michigan, to face the 23rd-ranked Wolverines on Wednesday at 6 p.m. (CT). Iowa returns to the court Saturday at No. 6 Nebraska at 7 p.m.
HOW TO FOLLOW ALONG
- Live stats for each contest are linked on the team’s schedule page or on hawkeyesports.com/vblive.
- Wednesday’s match at Michigan will be aired live 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).
HAWKEYES SET PROGRAM ATTENDANCE RECORD
- The Hawkeyes set a new program attendance record against Nebraska on Nov. 9.
- 4,737 fans watched the Hawkeyes take on the Huskers, besting the previous record by eight set on Oct. 7, 2017.
- The record is Iowa’s third attendance record in the last four years.
- Iowa’s top five most attended matches in program history have all come in the last four years.
TUBBS MAKES COLLEGIATE DEBUT
- Freshman middle blocker Grace Tubbs made her collegiate debut against Nebraska on Nov. 9.
- Tubbs made her first career start and earned her first career kill in the second set.
- With Tubbs’ debut, seven of Iowa’s eight freshman have played at least three sets this season.
HUGHES TAKES CONTROL
- Junior Griere Hughes has taken charge of Iowa’s offense during the absence of junior setter Brie Orr.
- Hughes has reached double-digit kills in six straight matches – tying her longest streak of the season. She previously accomplished the feat from Sept. 13-27.
- The Fishers, Indiana, native leads Iowa with 284 kills and is second on the team with 3.38 kills per set, which ranks eighth in the Big Ten.
- Hughes, who transferred from Arizona State in 2018, has set a career high in kills with 24 this season.
- 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 tied seventh in the NCAA in a five set match.
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 her 37 set played this season, Rients has 29 total blocks.
- 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.
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 82 sets this season with 133 digs.
- Boyer added a career-high 14 digs at Indiana on Oct. 26.
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.
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 4.64 digs/set to currently rank second in the Big Ten.
- Johnston is second in the conference with 422 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).
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.
FACING THE BEST
- Iowa faces nine teams currently ranked in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Week 12 coaches poll – Minnesota (5), Nebraska (6), Wisconsin (7), Penn State (8), Washington (13), Purdue (16), Washington State (22), Michigan (23), and Illinois (25).
- 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.
- Four of Iowa’s final six 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.
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SCOUTING No. 23 MICHIGAN
- Michigan is 17-7 overall and 10-4 in the Big Ten to rank fifth.
- The Wolverines are riding a four match winning streak with wins over Illinois twice, Michigan State, and Northwestern.
- Michigan ranks third in the conference in hitting percentage with a team average of .271.
- Paige Jones is third in the conference with 3.83 kills/set, while MacKenzie Welsh is third with 10.97 assists per set.
- Iowa was defeated by Michigan in Iowa City on Oct. 11. The Hawkeyes trail the all-time series 25-43.
- Michigan is coached by Mark Rosen, who is in his 20th season.
SCOUTING NO. 6 NEBRASKA
- Nebraska is 20-3 overall and 12-2 in conference.
- Iowa and Nebraska faced off inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Nov. 9. Nebraska defeated Iowa, 3-0.
- The Huskers face Michigan State in a midweek match before hosting the Hawkeyes on Nov. 16.
- Nebraska is coached by John Cook, who is in his 19th season.