The University of Iowa volleyball travels to Champaign, Illinois for the Pac-12/Big Ten Challenge. The Hawkeyes face Colorado on Friday at 4 p.m. (CT), and 11th-Ranked Washington on Saturday at 5 p.m. (CT).
HOW TO FOLLOW ALONG
- Live stats for each contest if available can be found on the team’s schedule page at hawkeyesports.com.
- A live stream of both matches is available on BTN+ (subscription required).
- Buffalo is coached by Jessey Mahoney, who is in his 6th season at Colorado.
- The Buffs are 2-0, after defeating Xavier and Charlotte last weekend.
- Leah Clayton leads the team in kills with 37 this season.
- Jenna Ewert leads the squad in assists with 85.
- On Aug. 30, Clayton was named Pac-12 Player of the Week.
- The Huskies are 1-1 after, defeating Ohio and losing to Ohio State last weekend.
- Washington is coached by Keegan Cook, who is in his sixth season.
- Claire Hoffman leads the team in kills with 25.
- Ella May Powell leads the squad in assists with 63.
- Senior right-side hitter Courtney Buzzerio ranks fifth in the nation, averaging 5.25 kills per set. She ranks first among Power 5 schools.
- Buzzerio ranks 16th in the country in points per set (5.44).
- Buzzerio leads the Big Ten with 42 kills.
- Multiple Hawkeyes set career highs against Duke to open the season.
- Buzzerio recorded a career-high 28 kills against the Blue Devils, tied for 13th most in a single game in school history. The last Hawkeye to record at least 25 kills was her sister Meghan Buzzerio in 2019.
- Sophomore Bailey Ortega recorded a career-high 45 assists.
- Three Hawkeyes recorded a career high in digs. Mari Hinkle (11), Bailey Ortega (15), and Maddie Slagle (22).
- Iowa returns 15 letterwinners, while adding a junior transfer and two newcomers to the roster.
- The Hawkye 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
- Seven Big Ten teams are ranked in the top 25 of the week one AVCA Coaches Poll: No. 2 Wisconsin, No. 4 Nebraska, No. 6 Ohio State, No. 8 Purdue, No. 10 Minnesota, and No. 17 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 last season.
- 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.
STRONG IN THE MIDDLE
- Iowa’s trio of middle blockers shined offensively and defensively a season ago.
- Clayton 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 ranked second on the team in attacking percentage (.254).
- Rients ranked second on the team in blocks (48)and blocks per set (0.6).
RECORD BOOK UPDATE
- Jones ranks second all-time in school history with a .290 hitting percentage, while Clayton ranks third with a .288 hitting percentage.
- Clayton currently ranks 18th all-time in program history with 245 career blocks.
ALL THE BUZZ
- 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), ranked 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
- William 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.