Hawkeyes Drop 5-Set Thriller to No. 6 Nebraska

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LINCOLN, Neb. — The University of Iowa volleyball team (9-18, 3-13) dropped a thrilling five-set match to sixth-ranked Nebraska (22-3, 14-2) inside the Devaney Center on Saturday night.

Sophomore Courtney Buzzerio notched her first career triple double with 18 kills, 20 assists, and 10 digs, while freshman Emma Lowes added a career-high and team-high 22 assists. Junior Halle Johnston tallied 21 digs.

SET 1 (25-20) | Freshman Emma Lowes earned her first start of her career as Iowa’s setter and the different look gave Iowa the advantage early as the Hawkeyes took a 12-8 lead and didn’t trail through the first 17 points. Nebraska took advantage of a few Iowa attack errors to close the gap as Iowa called its first timeout. Stuck at 17 points, the Huskers began to take control of the set and tallied three straight kills to take set one.

SET 2 (25-23) | The Hawkeyes began the second set with the same energy as the first, taking a 3-1 lead before back-to-back Nebraska blocks followed by a kill gave the Huskers a three-point lead. Iowa came roaring back thanks to a block by sophomore Hannah Clayton and kills from sophomore Courtney Buzzerio and freshman Edina Schmidt. Iowa led 15-12 at the media timeout, but Nebraska made another run to take a 18-17 lead. A Nebraska net violation allowed Iowa to tie the score as the Hawkeyes regained the lead and began looking to close the second set. Nebraska tied the score at 22, but two consecutive Iowa kills forced a Husker timeout at Iowa’s set point. Iowa earned the second set victory off a Nebraska net violation.

SET 3 (27-25) | Nebraska had the upper hand early on the Hawkeyes, but back-to-back kills from freshman Kyndra Hansen swung the pendulum Iowa’s way as both teams were evenly matched until a Nebraska attack error gave Iowa a 21-19 lead. Nebraska called its first timeout. Iowa was in control out of the timeout with Buzzerio notching two straight aces to give Iowa set point. Nebraska didn’t go down without a fight as the Huskers tied the score at 24. Iowa called its final timeout, but Nebraska took a 25-24 lead and committed a service error on their set point. That opened the door for junior Griere Hughes to knock down two kills and give Iowa the set win on its fifth set point.

SET 4 (25-18) | Nebraska opened the fourth set on a 5-1 run and put the Hawkeyes on their heels. Iowa crept back with two straight Buzzerio kills but Nebraska kept its foot on the gas to take a 23-15 lead as Iowa called its final timeout. The Hawkeyes made scoring runs however Nebraska’s lead was too large to overcome and the Hawkeyes and Huskers went to a fifth set for the first time in series history.

SET 5 (15-6) | Nebraska got out to another fast start, taking a 3-0 lead as Iowa began their comeback attempt. A 3-0 Husker run forced Iowa to call a quick timeout, trailing 7-3. Jones notched a kill out of the timeout and Nebraska responded with a kill of its own as both teams swapped sides. Iowa’s offense struggled to find the gaps in Nebraska’s defense as the Huskers flew to every ball. Iowa dropped the fifth set to a Husker kill.


  • Saturday’s matchup was the first five-set match between Iowa and Nebraska in series history.
  • Freshman Emma Lowes made her first career start at setter. Lowes notched career highs in assists (22) and digs (9).
  • Courtney Buzzerio registered her first career triple double with 18 kills, 20 assists, and 10 digs.
  • Buzzerio also notched a career-high 54 attempts.
  • Freshman Edina Schmidt tallied a career-high 33 total attempts.

The Hawkeyes travel to Madison to face No. 7 Wisconsin next Saturday at 7:30 p.m. (CT).

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