IOWA CITY, Iowa — Four University of Iowa volleyball players — Courtney Buzzerio, Griere Hughes, Halle Johnston, and Emily Bushman — were honored at the team’s awards banquet on Sunday night.
Buzzerio and Hughes were tabbed as Iowa’s Co-MVPs, while Johnston earned the nod as the team’s most improved player, and Bushman earned the Barb Willis Award.
MOST VALUABLE PLAYERS
Buzzerio and Hughes were named Co-MVPs after tallying 305 and 334 kills in 2019, respectively. Buzzerio was also second in assists (263), first in service aces (32), and fourth in digs (175) in 2019. Buzzerio was the first Hawkeye in 2005 to record a triple-double, amassing 18 kills, 20 assists, and 10 digs against Nebraska on Nov. 16. She was one of 32 players in the NCAA to accomplish the feat in 2019 and only player in the Big Ten.
Hughes was a steady offensive presence for the Hawkeyes as she reached a career-high 334 kills. Her 3.15 kills per set ranked first among Hawkeyes who played in more than 50 sets and she notched 19 double-digit kills matches, including in six straight Big Ten matches from Oct. 25 – Nov. 9.
Johnston earned Iowa’s most improved player award. Johnston took over as the team’s full-time libero in 2019 and stood up to the challenge, becoming one of the Big Ten’s best liberos. Johnston tied for second in the Big Ten in digs (517) and digs per set (4.58). She tallied 20 or more digs in 10 matches, including a career-high 30 against Indiana and Wyoming.
BARB WILLIS AWARD
The Barb Willis Award is named after Iowa Hall of Famer Barb Willis due to her hard work, determination, and continued service to Iowa volleyball. The award is given to one player each year who demonstrates the same character, drive, and determination as Willis.
Bushman earned this season’s Barb Willis Award. Bushman was the heart and soul of the team last season, becoming a vocal leader and steady presence on the court and off. Despite appearing in 15 matches, Bushman always supported her teammates and kept the energy high during all of Iowa’s matches last season.
2019 VOLLEYBALL TEAM AWARDS
TEAM CO-MVP: Courtney Buzzerio/Griere Hughes
MOST IMPROVED: Halle Johnston
BARB WILLIS AWARD: Emily Bushman