- The University of Iowa volleyball team completed the spring 2021 season, going 4-16 in a Big Ten only slate, with wins over Indiana, Rutgers, Northwestern, and Michigan State.
- Iowa was 3-6 at home, including a 2-3 record at Xtream Arena in its inaugural season. Iowa’s lone win on the road was in a five-set match against Northwestern.
- The Hawkeyes dropped all six matches against ranked opponents (No. 13 Purdue, No. 5 Nebraska, and No. 3 Minnesota). Iowa’s two matches against No. 1 Wisconsin were cancelled to due COVID-19 protocols.
BUZZERIO’S JUNIOR SEASON
- Junior setter/right-side hitter Courtney Buzzerio turned in the best season of her career and one of the best in Hawkeye history.
- The Chino Hills, California, native played in every rotation of Iowa’s 6-2 system to lead Iowa in kills (184) and aces (20), rank second in assists (323) and total attacks (498), and third in digs (127) and total blocks (46). She finished the season averaging 9.2 kills, 16.1 assists, and 6.3 digs.
- Buzzerio’s outstanding play earned her an AVCA All-North Region Honorable Mention selection and first-team All-Big Ten honors, becoming the first Hawkeye to earn those postseason honors since Sara Meyermann in 2001. She is only the fifth All-Region honoree in program history and eighth first-team all-conference honoree.
- Buzzerio posted a team-high eight double-doubles this season, including a string of four straight in late February.
She claimed her third career triple-double (13 kills, 21 assists, 11 digs) in Iowa’s five-set match against Indiana on Feb. 6, becoming the only individual in the Big Ten and one of 23 nationally to record a triple-double this season. She 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.
- Buzzerio claimed Big Ten Player of the Week Honors on Feb. 22 following her performances at Northwestern, becoming the first Hawkeye to do so since Reghan Coyle on Oct. 31, 2016.
- Buzzerio recorded seven matches with 10+ kills, including 19 kills against Rutgers on Feb. 20, which was a season best and tied a career high.
BEST CONFERENCE IN THE NATION
- Six Big Ten teams finished the season ranked in the top 12 of the final AVCA Coaches Poll: No. 3 Wisconsin, No. 6 Nebraska, No. 7 Purdue, No. 9 Minnesota, No. 10 Ohio State, and No. 12 Penn State.
- All six ranked teams qualified for the NCAA Tournament that featured 48 teams. Each Big Ten team won at least one game in the NCAA Tournament, with Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Purdue advancing to the Elite Eight. Nebraska fell to the national runner-up Texas in the Elite Eight and Wisconsin lost to the Longhorns in the Final Four.
- The Big Ten Conference has crowned an NCAA Champion in nine of the last 15 years and at least one Big Ten team has advanced to the Final Four in six straight seasons.
- Five Hawkeyes — Buzzerio (184), sophomore Edina Schmidt (183), junior Hannah Clayton (146), freshman Audrey Black (142), and sophomore Blythe Rients (107) — recorded at least 100 kills.
- Schmidt led the team with 587 total attacks, followed by Buzzerio’s 498 and Black’s 471.
- Schmidt was the only Hawkeye to record 20 or more kills in a match this season. In Iowa’s 3-1 win over Rutgers on Feb. 19, Schmidt recorded a career-high 21 kills on a career-best .395 hitting percentage. Schmidt was also Iowa’s Sportsmanship Award honoree.
STRONG IN THE MIDDLE
- Led by Clayton, Iowa’s trio of middle blockers shined offensively and defensively.
- Clayton, a Bloomington, Illinois, native led Iowa in total blocks (67) and hitting percentage (.349). She ranked 10th in the Big Ten in hitting percentage and 13th in total blocks and 20th in blocks per set (0.91). Clayton attacked .300 or better in 14 matches this season, including a string of five straight matches above .333.
- Junior Amiya Jones, who missed the first six matches of the season due to injury and started in Iowa’s last eight matches, ranked second on the team in attacking percentage (.254)
- Rients, an Eagan, Minnesota, native, ranked second on the team in blocks (48) and blocks per set (0.6). Rients tied her career-best .538 hitting percentage two times this season.
RECORD BOOK UPDATE
- Jones ranks second all-time in school history with a .289 hitting percentage.
- Clayton currently ranks 19th all-time in program history with 239 career blocks.
- Sophomore Joslyn Boyer started every game at libero for the Hawkeyes and anchored Iowa’s back row. She led Iowa and ranked fifth in the Big Ten with 279 total digs. Boyer’s 3.8 digs per set ranked ninth in the conference. She tallied 15 matches with double-digit digs, including a six-match stretch with 14+ digs. Boyer, a Downers Grove, Illinois, native, set a new career high with 25 digs in Iowa’s 3-0 sweep of Michigan State on March 27 to record her third match with 20+ digs.
- Junior defensive specialist Maddie Slagle, who tied a career-high 16 digs in Iowa’s Feb. 27 match at Northwestern, ranked second on the team with 128 total digs. Playing in every match with 10 starts, she tallied seven or more digs 10 times this season.
- Three freshmen — Bailey Ortega, Audrey Black and Leanne Lowry — contributed for the Hawkeyes.
- Ortega, a Davenport North high school grad, led Iowa with 387 assists and averaged 5.2 assists per set. Ortega set a personal-best with 34 assists and 12 digs against Rutgers on Feb. 20. Ortega started in all but two matches this season, recording two matches with 30+ assists, eight matches with 20+ assists, and double-digit assists in every match but one. She also ranked second on the team with 19 service aces, registering two aces in six matches.
- 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 played in all 20 matches as a freshman and started 10 of them to rank fourth on the team in kills (142) and third in total attacks (471).
- 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, played in 17 matches and record six starts.
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 Hawkeyes won the inaugural match in four sets over the Hoosiers.
- Iowa finished the inaugural season at Xtream Arena 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.
- Led by juniors Buzzerio, Clayton, Jones, and Slagle, Iowa will return all 16 of its letterwinners next season.
- Iowa’s three newcomers — outside hitter Kacia Brown, defensive specialist Sydney Dennis, and setter Jenna Splitt — will be eligible next season, following a redshirt year in the spring 2021 season.
- Iowa set a program record with 10 academic All-Big Ten selections in the fall of 2020. Boyer (finance), Clayton (health & human physiology), Grunkemeyer (human physiology), Hansen (speech and hearing science), Hughes* (African American studies), Jones (political science), Rients (undeclared engineering), Schmidt (health and human physiology), Slagle (health and human physiology), and Tubbs (human physiology). *Hughes opted out of the 2021 spring 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.