Freshmen Shine in Loss at No. 13 Purdue

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. –The University of Iowa Volleyball team fell, 3-0, in its second match in as many days against No. 13 Purdue on Saturday afternoon inside Holloway Gymnasium.

Three freshmen – Bailey Ortega, Audrey Black, and Leanne Lowry – started for the Hawkeyes. Black and Lowry recorded personal bests in their first career starts.

Black, an Aurora, Colorado, native, led Iowa in kills for the second straight match, setting a new career high with 10 kills. Lowry, from Castle Rock, Colorado, recorded a team-high 13 digs, while Ortega led Iowa with 18 assists.

Iowa dropped the first two sets, 25-16, and 25-15, and nearly fought all the way back in the third set. The Hawkeyes trailed 20-14, but forced a Purdue timeout, trailing 23-20, before dropping the match.

“The third set was a little bit of a slow start at the beginning, but this team is resilient, head coach Vicki Brown said. We talked a lot about pride going into the second match this morning and making sure we are making every team earn every point. We fight to the very end and it was good to see the team do that.”


SET 1 (Purdue, 25-16): Back-to-back kills by Black and junior Courtney Buzzerio gave Iowa a quick 2-0, before Iowa gave away to 10-4 Purdue lead. Two aces by Ortega closed the gap to a 13-9 deficit, but a 5-2 run forced a timeout. Facing set point, sophomore Blythe Rients and Black tallied two kills, before the Boilermakers took set one.

SET 2 (Purdue, 25-15): The Hawkeyes and Boilermakers traded points to open the set. A Buzzerio kill brought Iowa within one point to trail 9-8. The Boilermakers went on a four-point run to force an Iowa timeout, and out of the break, a Rients kill cut into Purdue’s lead (13-9). Down 15-10, Iowa found a rhythm with back-to-back Hannah Clayton kills to bring the score to 15-12. Purdue answered with a five-point run, forcing an Iowa timeout. Iowa put together a 3-1 run to trail 21-15, but the Boilermakers won the final four points of the set.

SET 3 (Purdue, 25-21): Trading points to start off the set and down 8-7, Purdue pulled away with a 5-1 run, bringing the score to 13-8. Out of a timeout, kills by Buzzerio and Clayton closed the gap to 15-11. Trailing 20-14, Iowa was able to climb all the way back, forcing the Boilermakers to call a timeout with a 23-20 lead. Purdue took two of the three next points to take the match.


On Black:

“It’s good to see Audrey have back-to-back nights of executing,” head coach Vicki Brown said.  “For her to be able to step up and get us out of a rotation, that was really inspiring to see her do that back-to-back nights.”

On Lowry’s 13 digs:

“It shows she has a good eye for the game. She will continue to get more consistent as she plays. To see a freshman be able to do that against a strong attacking team in Purdue is impressive.”

On Ortega:

“Bailey has been showing she has another level when you put the lights bright on the court. To see a lot of things she’s impressed us with in practice – to see that on the court – has really been encouraging.”


  • Iowa bested its attack percentage (.198), kills (36), and digs (41) from Friday’s match against Purdue.
  • Iowa recorded a season-low two total blocks.
  • Five Hawkeyes – Black (10), Buzzerio (7), Clayton (7), Rients (6), Schmidt (5) – recorded at least five kills.
  • Rients led Iowa with a .385 attack percentage (six kills, one error, 13 total attacks) today and leads Iowa with a .321 hitting percentage in four games this season.


The Hawkeyes return home and will take on Indiana Friday, Feb. 5 at 4 p.m. (CT) in their first ever match inside Xtream Arena.

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