The University of Iowa volleyball team wraps up its home schedule with two matches against Michigan State on Friday and Saturday night inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Both matches begin at 6 p.m. (CT).
HOW TO FOLLOW ALONG
- Live stats for each contest are linked on the team’s schedule page.
- Both matches will be live streamed on B1G Network+ (subscription required).
- Live audio will be available on the Hawkeye Radio Network via YouTube with John Evans on the call.
- For live, in-game score updates, follow @IowaVolleyball on Twitter.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
- Iowa is 3-13 and is tied for the Big Ten lead with six other schools for most matches played this season.
- The Hawkeyes have beaten the Spartans in two of the last three meetings. Michigan State is 2-9 this season, with eight of their nine losses against ranked opponents. Iowa is 0-4 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. 11 Penn State) are ranked in the top 11 of the latest AVCA Coaches Poll.
- Iowa wraps up the regular season next weekend, April 2-3, on the road against No. 4 Minnesota. The Hawkeyes’ regular-season finale will be televised on ESPNU at 3 p.m. (CT).
LAST TIME OUT
- Iowa dropped two matches to fifth-ranked Nebraska on Feb. 17 and Feb. 20.
- The Hawkeyes held a 17-15 lead in the first set in the series opener at home, before falling 25-19 to start the match. In the second set, Iowa trailed 12-7, before battling back to trail by only one, 15-14. The Huskers, however, won the second set, 25-21, and the third set, 25-11.
- In the second match at Nebraska inside the Devaney Center, Iowa fell in three sets. In the second set, Iowa trailed 13-5, but fought all the way back to make the score 21-19, before falling 25-20.
SCOUTING MICHIGAN STATE
- Michigan State is 2-9 this season, picking up both of its wins in a two-game sweep at Maryland on Feb. 12-13. Eight of Michigan State’s nine losses have come against ranked foes. The Spartans have had seven matches postponed due to COVID-19 protocols.
- This season, Michigan State is averaging 11.1 kills, 10.3 assists, and 12.2 digs per set.
- Offensively, the Spartans are led by freshman outside hitter Sarah Franklin, freshman setter Celia Cullen, and junior middle blocker Naya Gros. In her first season with Michigan State, Franklin leads the team with 99 kills and averages 3.81 kills per set, which ranks seventh in the conference. Gros follows suit with 59 kills, averaging 1.5 kills per set. Cullen leads the team with 324 assists, averaging 8.31 assists per set, which ranks ninth in the conference.
- Defensively, Michigan State is led by senior libero Jamye Cox and Gros. Cox leads the Spartans with 139 digs, averaging 3.56 digs a set, which ranks ninth in the conference. Gros leads the team with 34 blocks, averaging nearly one block per set.
- The Spartans are coached by Cathy George, who is in her fifteenth season with the Spartans. She made history as the first woman to coach in the NCAA Final Four in 1989. She has made 15 NCAA Tournament appearances and has accumulated 653 career wins, which ranks third in Big Ten history.
SERIES HISTORY VS. MICHIGAN STATE
- Michigan State leads the all-time series, 50-26, but Iowa has won two of the last three meetings.
- The Hawkeyes fell in five sets to the Spartans in 2019 at home. In 2018, the Hawkeyes swept the season series.
BUZZERIO DOING IT ALL
- Buzzerio leads Iowa with 152 kills, tied for the team lead with 16 aces, ranks second in assists (267) and digs (113), and third in total blocks (32).
- Buzzerio is averaging 9.6 kills, 17.9 assists, and 7.0 digs per match this season.
- She has posted eight double-doubles this season, including a string of four straight in late February.
- Buzzerio claimed Big Ten Player of the Week Honors on Feb. 22 following her performance at Northwestern, becoming the first Hawkeye to do so 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 21 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 214 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 started the last four matches and ranks third on the team with 99 total digs.
STRONG IN THE MIDDLE
- Led by junior middle blocker Hannah Clayton, Iowa’s middle blockers have shined offensively and defensively.
- Clayton leads Iowa with a .344 attacking percentage, which ranks 10th in the Big Ten and 87th nationally. Clayton has registered 11 matches with a hitting percentage of .300 or better. Clayton also leads Iowa in total blocks (56) and blocks per set (0.92), rankings 17th and 13th, respectively, in the Big Ten in each category.
- Clayton’s 228 career total blocks ranks 20th all-time in school history.
- Junior Amiya Jones has started the last four matches for Iowa and ranks second on the team in hitting percentage (.288). Jones has recorded at least three blocks in three of her last four matches.
- Jones currently holds the top career attacking percentage (.296) in school history. Mikaela Gunderson (.294; 2013-15) and Jess Janota (.281; 2014-17) rank second and third.
- Sophomore Blythe Rients ranks second on Iowa with 46 total blocks and averages 0.75 blocks per set.
- Three freshmen — Bailey Ortega, Audrey Black and Leanne Lowry — have contributed for the Hawkeyes.
Ortega, a Davenport North high school grad, leads Iowa with 315 assists. Ortega set a personal-best with 34 assists and 12 digs against Rutgers on Feb. 20. Ortega has started 14 of 16 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. 5 Nebraska, No. 9 Ohio State, No. 10 Purdue, and No. 11 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 finished the inaugural season at Xtream with a 2-3 record.
- 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.
- 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.