The University of Iowa volleyball hosts No. 5 Nebraska on Wednesday at 7 p.m. (CT) inside Xtream Arena. The Hawkeyes will cap off the regular-season series against the Huskers on Saturday at 6 p.m. inside the Devaney Center in Lincoln, Nebraska.
HOW TO FOLLOW ALONG
- Live stats for each contest are linked on the team’s schedule page.
- Wednesday’s match will be televised on B1G Network and Saturday’s match will be streamed on B1G Network+ (subscription required).
- Fans can also listen to Wednesday’s match on YouTube with John Evans on the call. Live audio for Saturday’s match will be available on the Husker Sports Network. Both audio streams are free.
- For live, in-game score updates, follow @IowaVolleyball on Twitter.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
- Iowa went five sets against Nebraska for the first time in school history in its last meeting in 2019.
- Wednesday will be Iowa’s first televised match of the season. The Hawkeyes will also be on TV (ESPNU) in its regular-season finale at Minnesota on April 3.
- Iowa’s two matches against Nebraska will mark the Hawkeyes third and fourth meetings against ranked opponents this season.
Six Big Ten teams (No. 1 Wisconsin, No. 4 Minnesota, No. 5 Nebraska, No. 9 Ohio State, No. 10 Purdue, and No. 12 Penn State) are ranked in the top 12 of the latest AVCA Coaches Poll.
- Wednesday is Iowa’s last match at Xtream Arena this season. The Hawkeyes will play their last two home matches at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
LAST TIME OUT
- Iowa dropped two matches, 3-1, and 3-0, last weekend at Maryland, who leads the Big Ten in blocks per set and ranks fourth nationally. The Terrapins recorded 33 blocks to Iowa’s seven.
- In Friday’s series opener, three of the four sets were decided by two points. The Hawkeyes dropped a closely contest first set, 26-24, before falling in the second set, 25-17. Iowa turned it around, winning the third set 26-24, before falling 25-23 in the fourth and final set. Sophomore outside hitter Edina Schmidt tallied a match-high 19 kills on a career-high 47 total attacks. Schmidt also tied a career-high with three aces and set a new career-best with nine digs.
- On Saturday, the Hawkeyes were led by juniors Courtney Buzzerio and Hannah Clayton. Buzzerio registered her fifth double-double in her last six games with 13 kills (.417 hitting percentage) and 15 assists. Clayton recorded her fifth straight game hitting above .333, with a .500 attacking percentage and 10 kills.
- Fourth-ranked Nebraska is 10-2 this season and sits in fourth place of the Big Ten standings. The Huskers began the season on a five-game winning streak. No. 5 Minnesota handed Nebraska its first loss of the season on Feb. 19. The Huskers won four straight matches, before falling in their last match in five sets to No. 11 Ohio State, who is 13-1. Nebraska’s matches at No. 1 Wisconsin on Feb. 26-27 were postponed due to COVID-19 protocols.
- Nebraska has won five national titles (1995, 2000, 2006, 2015, 2017), with four of the five under current head coach John Cook, who is in his 20th season at the helm of the Huskers. Cook’s resume features six NCAA Finals appearances, 12 conference titles, 588 career wins, and an induction into the AVCA Hall of Fame in 2017.
- This season, Nebraska’s 14.1 kills per set ranks second in the Big Ten and 29th in the country. Senior outside hitter Lexi Sun leads the Huskers with 3.9 kills per set, which ranks fifth in the Big Ten. Senior middle blocker Lauren Stivrins leads the Big Ten and ranks ninth nationally with a .469 hitting percentage.
- Defensively, the Huskers are averaging 3.1 blocks and 14.8 digs per set. Stivrins and junior middle blocker Kayla Caffey both average one block per set.
LAST MEETING AGAINST THE HUSKERS
- Iowa pushed No. 6 Nebraska to five sets on the road in its last meeting back in 2019. The Hawkeyes took a 2-1 lead in the match, winning sets two (25-23) and three (27-25), before the Huskers won the last two sets, 25-18, and 15-6. It was the first five-set match in series history.
- Buzzerio, who tallied a career-high 54 total attacks, recorded her first career triple-double in the loss, with 18 kills, 20 assists, and 10 digs. Amiya Jones and Edina Schmidt added 10 kills apiece.
BUZZERIO DOING IT ALL
- Buzzerio leads Iowa with 142 kills and 15 aces, ranks second on the team in assists (248) and digs (103), and third in total blocks (39).
- Buzzerio is averaging 10.1 kills, 17.7 assists, and 7.4 digs per match this season.
- She has posted eight double-doubles this season, with five in her last six matches. She has also attacked .333 or better in five of Iowa’s last six matches, including a season-high .417 hitting percentage at Maryland on March 13.
- 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 19 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 sixth in the Big Ten with 196 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, 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 .367 attacking percentage, followed by Jones (.319) and Rients (.230). Clayton’s .367 hitting percentage is 10th-best in the Big Ten. Clayton has hit over .333 in five straight matches and over .300 in 11 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 53 blocks, followed by Rients’ 45 blocks. Clayton’s 0.96 blocks per set ranks 15th in the Big Ten.
- 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 293 assists. Ortega set a personal-best with 34 assists and 12 digs against Rutgers on Feb. 20. Ortega has started 12 of 14 matches 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 four Hawkeyes with at least 100 kills.
- 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 Minnesota, No. 4 Minnesota, No. 9 Ohio State, No. 10 Purdue, 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.
- Iowa is 2-2 in four matches at Xtream Arena this season.
- 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 7 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
For an inside look at the Iowa Volleyball program and access to exclusive coverage, follow @IowaVolleyball on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok.