The University of Iowa volleyball team travels to College Park, Maryland, for a two-game set against the Maryland Terrapins on Friday and Saturday, March 12-13, inside the Xfinity Center Pavilion. Both matches are slated for 5 p.m. (CT).
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).
- For live, in-game score updates, follow @IowaVolleyball on Twitter.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
- Iowa’s scheduled matches against Wisconsin on March 5-6 were postponed due to COVID-19 issues within the Wisconsin program. The decision to postpone was mutually agreed upon out of an abundance of caution surrounding the health and safety of the participants. The institutions will work with the Big Ten conference to identify rescheduling options.
- Iowa is 3-5 in its last eight matches and 3-9 overall, good for ninth place in the Big Ten that features six teams ranked in the top 12 of the latest AVCA Coaches Poll.
- Iowa is 5-5 all-time against Maryland since 2014, winning its last meeting in last season’s regular season finale in four sets.
The Hawkeyes have played in three straight five-set matches.
- Junior outside hitter Courtney Buzzerio was named Big Ten Player of the Week on Feb. 22 following her performances against Rutgers, Feb. 19-20, becoming the first Hawkeye to do so since Reghan Coyle on Oct. 31, 2016.
LAST TIME OUT
- For the second straight weekend on Feb. 26-27, the Hawkeyes split. Iowa picked up its first road win of the season on Feb. 26 against Northwestern in five sets and dropped the second contest in a tight five-set match.
- Iowa’s first five-set win of the season on Feb. 26 featured 55 ties and 33 lead changes. Iowa jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the match, taking set one, 26-24, and winning set two, 39-37. The 78 combined points set a school record and a Big Ten record (in the 25-point scoring era) for most combined points in a conference match. Iowa’s 39 points set a program record and were the second-most by a Big Ten team since 2008.The second set alone had 26 ties, 18 lead changes, and 15 set points. Northwestern won the third and fourth sets (25-23, 25-17), before Iowa’s 15-11 victory in the fifth and final set. Iowa’s offense featured six Hawkeyes with at least eight kills. Buzzerio and Clayton tied for the team lead with 14 kills. Clayton’s 14 kills and nine total blocks set new career highs.
- On Feb. 27, Iowa dropped the first set, 25-18, before evening the match with a 25-22 victory in set two. The Hawkeyes dominated set three, winning 25-12, but the Wildcats responded, taking the next two sets 25-21 and 16-14. Buzzerio recorded her fourth straight double-double and seventh of the season, with 15 kills and 19 assists, and six digs. Sophomore outside hitter Edina Schmidt also tallied 15 kills and five digs. Defensively, Iowa recorded four of its eight total blocks in the first set, and junior defensive specialist Maddie Slagle led Iowa in the back row, tying a career-high with 16 digs.
- Maryland is 2-10 this season. The Terrapins have already faced two nationally ranked Big Ten opponents: Minnesota and Nebraska. Maryland’s matches against Penn State on Feb. 27-28 were postponed, before splitting with Indiana on the road on March 5-6. Maryland’s other win this season came in a five-set match against Michigan on Feb. 19.
- Last season, Maryland was 13-19 overall and 5-15 in the Big Ten.
- The Terrapins are averaging 10.3 kills, 9.4 assists,12.7 digs, and 2.9 blocks per set.
- Offensively, Maryland is led by Erika Pritchard and Jada Gardner. Pritchard, a senior outside hitter from Middletown, Maryland, leads the team with 168 kills and averages 3.5 kills per set. Gardner, a redshirt junior from Cibolo, Texas, follows Pritchard with 85 kills and averages 2.02 kills per set.
- Defensively, Maryland is led by senior libero Sam Burgio and junior middle blocker Rainelle Jones. Burgio leads the Terrapins with 175 digs and 4.27 digs per set. Jones leads the team with 68 blocks, averaging 1.42 blocks per set.
- Maryland is coached by Adam Hughes, who is in his third season at the helm. Hughes was promoted to head coach in January 2018. Hughes is the fifth head coach in program history. Prior to Maryland, Hughes was the Director of Volleyball Operations at Penn State.
BUZZERIO DOING IT ALL
- Buzzerio leads Iowa with 121 kills, is tied for the team lead with 14 aces, ranks second on the team in assists (210) and digs (89), and third in total blocks (38).
- Buzzerio is averaging 10.1 kills, 17.5 assists, and 7.4 digs per match this season.
- She has registered four straight double-doubles and seven total this season.
- Buzzerio is the first Hawkeye to claim Big Ten Player of the Week honors since Reghan Coyle on Oct. 31, 2016.
- Buzzerio registered her third career triple-double (13 kills, 21 assists, 11 digs) in Iowa’s five-set match against Indiana on Feb. 6. She is the only individual in the Big Ten and one of 18 nationally to record a triple-double this season.
- The Chino Hills, California, native is the only Hawkeye in program history to register multiple triple-doubles in a career. Buzzerio’s first career triple-double was against Nebraska (Nov. 16, 2019) last season, with her second coming two weeks later against Ohio State (Nov. 29, 2019).
- There have only been five triple-doubles in the last 20 years at Iowa. Kiley Fister (2005) and Fabiana De Abreu (2000) are the other two Hawkeyes to complete the feat.
- Sophomore libero Joslyn Boyer has anchored Iowa’s back row, leading the Hawkeyes and ranking fifth in the Big Ten with 170 total digs. She needed only 11 matches this season to surpass her digs total (159) from last season.
- Junior defensive specialist Maddie Slagle, who tied a career-high 16 digs in Iowa’s Feb. 27 match at Northwestern, has registered at least seven digs in four straight games and ranks third on the team with 84 total digs.
STRONG IN THE MIDDLE
- Iowa’s trio of middle blockers — Hannah Clayton, Blythe Rients, and Amiya Jones — have shined on offense and defense.
Clayton leads Iowa with a .358 attacking percentage, followed by Jones (.326) and Rients (.255). Clayton’s .358 hitting percentage is 11th-best in the Big Ten. Clayton has hit over .400 in three straight matches and over .300 in nine of 12 matches this season.
Jones currently holds the top career attacking percentage (.300) in school history. Mikaela Gunderson (.294; 2013-15) and Jess Janota (.281; 2014-17) rank second and third.
- Defensively, Clayton leads Iowa with 49 blocks, followed by Rients’ 43 blocks. Clayton’s 1.02 blocks per set ranks 14th in the Big Ten, followed by Rients’ 0.90 blocks per set, which ranks 20th in the conference. Iowa ranks ninth in the Big Ten with 2.12 blocks per set.
- Three freshmen — Bailey Ortega, Audrey Black and Leanne Lowry — have contributed for the Hawkeyes to start the season.
Ortega, a Davenport North high school grad, leads Iowa with 258 assists. Ortega set a personal-best with 34 assists and 12 digs against Rutgers on Feb. 20. Ortega has started 10 of 12 games this season.
- In Black’s first career start on Jan. 30 against No. 13 Purdue, she recorded a then personal-best and team-high 10 kills. Black set career highs in kills (15) and hitting percentage (.310) against Rutgers on Feb. 20. The Aurora, Colorado, native is one of three Hawkeyes with at least 100 kills and has recorded 10+ kills in four straight matches.
- In Lowry’s first career start on Jan. 30 at No. 13 Purdue, she tallied a personal-best and team-high 13 digs. Lowry, a Castle Rock, Colorado, native has started four matches this season.
TUBBS FINISHES IT OFF
- Sophomore middle blocker Grace Tubbs made her season debut late in the fourth set of Iowa’s victory over Indiana on Feb. 5. The Clinton, Iowa, native recorded her first kill of the season to give Iowa a 24-17 lead in the clinching set and served on match point.
- Tubbs, who appeared in only four games last season, has seen action in the fourth set of both of Iowa’s victories this season.
BEST CONFERENCE IN THE NATION
- Six Big Ten teams are ranked in the latest AVCA Coaches Poll: No. 1 Wisconsin, No. 4 Nebraska, No. 5 Minnesota, No. 10 Purdue, No. 11 Ohio State, and No. 12 Penn State.
- 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.
NEW HOME FOR IOWA VOLLEYBALL
- Xtream Arena powered by Mediacom — the new home for the University of Iowa Volleyball team — hosted the first ever Iowa volleyball matches on Feb. 5-6 against Indiana.
- The 5,100-seat arena is located in the Iowa River Landing in Coralville, Iowa.
- The arena connects to the 53,000 sq. ft, five-court GreenState Family Fieldhouse.
- Xtream Arena will also be the home arena for a newly announced ECHL hockey team in 2021-22.
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 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.
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
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