The University of Iowa volleyball team opens its season in South Carolina. The Hawkeyes face Duke and Coastal Carolina on Saturday at 11 a.m. (CT) and 6 p.m. (CT), respectively, in the Coastal Carolina Invitational.
HOW TO FOLLOW ALONG
Live stats for each contest can be found on the team’s schedule page at hawkeyesports.com.
A live stream of Iowa’s match against Coastal Carolina is available on ESPN+ (subscription required).
- Duke ended last season with a record of 9-13 (7-10 ACC).
- The Blue Devils are coached by Jolene Nagel, who is entering her 24th season at Duke.
- Nagel is the 22nd active NCAA Division I head coach to reach 600 career wins, which she achieved in 2017.
- Of Duke’s nine wins last season, five were straight sweeps.
- The team consists of four freshmen, two sophomores, four juniors, four seniors, and two graduate students.
- Ade Owokoniran was the leader in kills last season with 243.
SCOUTING COASTAL CAROLINA
- The Chanticleers ended with a record of 18-1 (16-0 Sun Belt).
- Coastal Carolina is coached by Jozsef Forman, who will be entering his 10th coaching season with them.
- Forman’s coaching record at Coastal Carolina is 243-110 (.688).
- Nine of the 20 players are from outside of the United States and have competed on the national level for their home countries.
- The roster consists of three freshmen, six sophomores, five juniors, and six seniors.
- Freshman Kendall Harris attended St. Agnes Academy in Texas, alongside Iowa’s Toyosi Onabanjo.
- Iowa returns 15 letterwinners, while adding a junior transfer and two newcomers to the roster.
- The Hawkeye roster has players from Iowa (5), Minnesota (3), Colorado (2), Minnesota (2), California, Indiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Texas, and Germany.
- The roster is comprised of four freshmen, four sophomores, six juniors, and four seniors.
BEST CONFERENCE IN THE NATION
- Six Big Ten teams are ranked in the top 12 of the preseason AVCA Coaches Poll: No. 2 Wisconsin, No. 5 Nebraska, No. 7 Minnesota, No. 8 Purdue, No. 11 Ohio State, and No. 12 Penn State.
- 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 — Courtney Buzzerio (184), Edina Schmidt (183), Hannah Clayton (146), Audrey Black (142), and 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 last 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.
- 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 twice last 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.
ALL THE BUZZ
- Senior right-side hitter Courtney Buzzerio turned in the best season of her career and one of the best in Hawkeye history in 2021.
- 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 selection in program history and eighth first-team all-conference honoree.
- 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 last 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), 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.
TATGE ADDED AS ASSISTANT
- Tatge joins the Hawkeyes with over 10 years of coaching experience, spending time at Ohio State, Division II Lees-McRae College, NAIA Montreat College, Durham University in the United Kingdom, and Division III Bethany Lutheran College, along with high school and club volleyball coaching experience.
- Before moving to Iowa City, Tatge spent the last two seasons at Louisiana Tech, helping the Lady Techsters to their best season since 2003. Louisiana Tech finished 13-15 in 2019 after beginning the year 11-4.
- Tatge played right side for the club volleyball team at Indiana University as an undergrad and player as a setter/right-side hitter for Durham University during his postgraduate studies. Tatge also competed internationally for Team Northumbria in the English National League.