The University of Iowa volleyball team plays its first ever games inside Xtream Arena — the new home of Iowa Volleyball — on Friday and Saturday. Both games are set for 4 p.m. (CT) in Coralville, Iowa.
HOW TO FOLLOW ALONG
- Live stats for each contest are linked on the team’s schedule page.
- Both matches will be streamed on B1G Network+ (subscription required).
- Live audio with John Evans on the call will be available on the Hawkeye Radio Network YouTube page.
- For live, in-game score updates, follow @IowaVolleyball on Twitter.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
- Friday and Saturday will mark the long-awaited first ever Iowa Volleyball matches inside Xtream Arena. The 5,100-seat arena in Coralville’s Iowa River Landing will eventually provide a packed, intimate environment for the Iowa Volleyball team. This weekend, immediate family of coaches and student-athletes and event staff will be in attendance. Fans are not permitted to attend.
- Iowa was victorious in both meetings against Indiana last season. In the first meeting on the road, the Hawkeyes topped the Hoosiers in five sets, and followed it up with a four-set win at home.
The Hawkeyes have swept the Hoosiers two of the last three seasons.
LAST TIME OUT
- The Hawkeyes had their first road matchup of the season at No. 13 Purdue on Jan. 29-30. Iowa dropped both matches, 3-0, in its first two games against ranked opponents this season.
- Iowa’s best set came in the third and final set of the series. Trailing 20-14, Iowa cut into Purdue’s defect, trailing 23-20 to force a Purdue timeout.
- The Hawkeyes attacked at a .198 clip in their last match against No. 13 Purdue to set a new season high.
- Iowa’s starting lineup on Jan. 30 featured three freshmen (outside hitter Audrey Black, setter Bailey Ortega, and defensive specialist Leanne Lowry).
- Sophomore middle blocker Emma Grunkemeyer made her first collegiate appearance on Jan. 29 at No. 13 Purdue, registering one kill and two digs.
- Iowa ranks seventh in the Big Ten in blocks per set (2.14).
- Junior Courtney Buzzerio leads Iowa with 36 kills and ranks second on the team in assists (41) and digs (27).
- Freshman Audrey Black leads Iowa in total attacks (100) and ranks second in kills (30).
- Sophomore Blythe Rients leads Iowa with 16 blocks and junior Hannah Clayton ranks second with 13.
- Iowa’s .294 attack percentage (14 kills, four errors, 34 total attacks) in the third set against Illinois on Jan. 23 match was the best of any set this season.
- Sophomore libero Joslyn Boyer, who leads Iowa with 44 digs, set new career highs to start the season. Her 15 digs in the season opener set a new personal best, and the Downers Grove, Illinois, native bested that total with 17 digs in the second match of the season.
FRESHMAN SHINE AT PURDUE
- Three freshmen — Audrey Black, Bailey Ortega, and Leanne Lowry — started for the Hawkeyes in Iowa’s last match against No. 13 Purdue.
- Black, an Aurora, Colorado, native led Iowa in kills (19) last weekend at No. 13 Purdue. In Black’s first career start on Jan. 30, she recorded a personal-best and team-high 10 kills .
- Lowry, a defensive specialist from Castle Rock, Colorado, also made her first career start on Jan. 30 at No. 13 Purdue, tallying a personal-best and team-high 13 digs.
Ortega, a Davenport North high school grad, has led Iowa in assists in four straight games to start the 2021 season.
BEST CONFERENCE IN THE NATION
- Six Big Ten teams are ranked in the latest AVCA Coaches Poll, including four in the top 10: No. 1 Wisconsin, No. 4 Nebraska, No. 6 Minnesota, No. 9 Penn State, No. 13 Purdue, and No. 23 Michigan.
- Seven Big Ten Schools qualified for the 2019 NCAA Tournament. Wisconsin was the NCAA runner-up, falling to Stanford, 3-0. Minnesota lost to Stanford, 3-0, in the NCAA Semifinals.
- The Big Ten Conference has crowned an NCAA Champion in nine of the last 15 years and two Big Ten teams have advanced to the Final Four five straight seasons.
MORE ON XTREAM
- Xtream Arena powered by Mediacom will serve as the new home for the University of Iowa Volleyball team.
- The 5,100-seat arena is located in the Iowa River Landing in Coralville, Iowa.
- The arena connects to the 53,000 sq. ft, 5-court GreenState Family Fieldhouse.
- Xtream Arena will also be the home arena for a newly announced ECHL hockey team in 2021-22.
BLACK HISTORY MONTH
- To celebrate Black History Month, Iowa Volleyball and Iowa Athletics will be sharing stories of Black student-athletes and alumni to educate and inspire present and future generations about the diverse history in the state of Iowa.
- Former Iowa Volleyball coach and two-time Olympian, Rita Buck-Crockett played and coached at the highest levels of volleyball. Buck-Crockett was a member of the 1980 and 1984 U.S. Olympic Volleyball teams, claiming a silver medal in 1984. Widely regarded as one of the best all-around volleyball players in the world, a 1984 issue of Sports Illustrated touted her as the world’s best athlete and nicknamed her “The Rocket,” because of her 42-inch vertical lead and 100 MPH kills. Buck-Crockett coached three All-Big Ten selections, including an all-region member and an All-USA Team selection, at Iowa from 1998-2003.
- Buck-Crockett and other heroes will be spotlighted on @IowaVolleyball social media channels throughout February.
SCHEDULE AT A GLANCE
- Iowa’s 2021 volleyball schedule features a conference-only, 22-game slate. Iowa will face 11 of the Big Ten’s 14 teams. Four of Iowa’s opponents (No. 13 Purdue, No. 1 Wisconsin, No. 4 Nebraska, and No. 6 Minnesota) are ranked in the AVCA Coaches Poll.
- Home and away games will alternate weekends. Games will be played on Friday and Saturday, with one game (vs. Nebraska, March 17) on Wednesday.
- Iowa’s March 17 match against Nebraska at 6 p.m. (CT) will be televised on Big Ten Network and the regular season finale at Minnesota will be televised on ESPNU at 3 p.m.
- The NCAA Tournament will be begin April 8.
- All dates and times are subject to change.
- The Hawkeyes return 10 of 15 letterwinners from last season and welcome six freshman this season.
- Twelve of Iowa’s 16 student-athletes are underclassmen.
- Brie Orr, Halle Johnston, and Griere Hughes opted out of the 2021 season.
- After going 14-19 (3-17) last season, Indiana is off to a 1-3 start in 2021. The Hoosiers were swept by fifth-ranked Nebraska to start the season and dropped their series opener at Rutgers, 3-1, but topped the Scarlet Knights the following day, 3-1.
- Indiana is led by Steve Aird, who is in his third year as head coach. He helped lead Penn State to two NCAA Championships as an assistant coach.
- Freshman Tommi Stockham (45) and junior Breana Edwards (46) leads the Hoosiers in kills. Both round out the top 10 in the Big Ten in kills per set.
- Sophomore defensive specialist Haley Armstrong leads Indiana and ranks third in the Big Ten with 4.43 digs per set.
- Indiana’s roster features eight freshman after securing the 15th-best recruiting class in the nation — the best in program history.
- Last season, the Hawkeyes faced the 11th toughest schedule in the nation, going 10-12 (4-16) in head coach Vicki Brown’s first season at the helm. Opponents combined for a .626 win percentage in 2019.
- Iowa took No. 6 Nebraska to five sets for the first time in school history. The Hawkeyes won the second set, 25-23, and the third set, 27-25, on the road inside the Devaney Center on Nov. 16.
- In Iowa’s home match against Nebraska on Nov. 9, Iowa set a new program attendance record as 4,737 fans watched inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
- Iowa’s top five most attended matches in program history have all come in the last four years.
- Iowa swept Indiana last season for the second time in the last three seasons.
- Iowa defeated No. 22 Washington State in a 3-0 sweep on Aug. 31 for Iowa’s first win over a ranked opponent on the road since 2012.
Courtney Buzzerio also became the first Hawkeye in 14 years to record a triple-double. The Chino Hills, California, native recorded a team-high 18 kills, 20 assists, and 10 digs in five sets against No. 6 Nebraska on Nov. 16, 2019. She joins Kiley Fister (2005) and Fabiana De Abreu (2000) as the only Hawkeyes to accomplish the feat in the last 20 years.
- Middle blocker Amiya Jones had a career day against Indiana on Oct. 26. As a sophomore, Jones recorded a career-high seven aces, including three straight, and a career-high 15 kills in Iowa’s five-set victory. Jones’ seven aces tied for the most in school history in a five-set match and third most overall.
- Blythe Rients’ 11 total blocks (10 BA, 1 BS) against Indiana on Oct. 20 were the most by a Hawkeye since 2011 and tied for sixth in Iowa single-match history.
COACHING STAFF ADDITIONS
- Iowa welcomed two new assistants to its staff after the 2019 season.
- Dave Brown joined the Hawkeyes as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator on Jan. 21, 2020. Prior to Iowa, Brown was the associate head coach and recruiting coordinator at Loyola-Chicago where he helped the Ramblers set a single-season record for conference wins (14) and most total wins (21) since 2004 in 2019. In his first season at Loyola, Brown was one of 11 NCAA Division I women’s coaches Thirty Under 30 Award recipients from the AVCA for up-and-coming young coaches.
- Former Hawkeye Alyssa Klostermann joined the Iowa staff as a volunteer assistant coach in December. As a three-time captain for the Hawkeyes from 2013-16, Klostermann appeared in 103 matches and finished her career No. 11 on Iowa’s all-time assists list (1,006). Klostermann recently coached club and high school volleyball in Minnesota, winning the 5AAA Minnesota state championship at Wayzata High School in 2019.
FOLLOW THE HAWKEYES
For an inside look at the Iowa Volleyball program and access to exclusive coverage, follow @IowaVolleyball on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok.