Hawkeyes Fall in Five to Falcons

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The University of Iowa volleyball team was edged by Air Force, 3-2, on Friday evening at the Air Force Academy in the Mile High Invitational.

Courtney Buzzerio posted a match-best 21 kills. Bailey Ortega set a new career high leading the squad in assists with 57, and Maddie Slagle totaled a team-best 17 digs.


SET 1 (Iowa, 25-20): The Hawkeyes raced out to a 5-0 advantage to open the match. Air Force battled back tying things at eight apiece. The score went back-and-forth as both teams held even leading to a 15-15 score. Iowa pulled out to a lead, which it maintained, taking the first set by a five-point margin.

SET 2 (Air Force, 28-26): The score was tight through the first part of the set before the Hawkeyes rattled off a 5-0 run to take a 16-10 lead. Iowa extended its lead to 18-12 before Air Force would go on a run of its own to even things at 20-20. Both teams stayed in it as the score rose to 26-26 before Air Force was finally able to notch the set on back-to-back kills.

SET 3 (Air Force, 25-21): The Falcons opened the set taking a 6-3 lead. The Hawkeyes scored four straight narrowing the Air Force lead to one and making the score, 13-12. The home team responded with a 4-0 run of its own making the score, 17-12. Iowa responded with another 4-0 run to cut the lead to 18-17, before the Falcons pulled away and take a 2-1 lead in the match.

SET 4 (Iowa, 25-20): The Hawkeyes maintained a one-point lead through the beginning of the fourth set. They pushed the lead to 14-10 on back-to-back service aces by Buzzerio. The lead grew to 18-13 forcing a Falcons timeout. A 3-0 Falcon run trimmed the Hawkeye lead to three, but Air Force was never able to cut the deficit and the Hawkeyes forced a fifth set.

SET 5 (Air Force, 15-5): The fifth and final set saw Air Force build a steady lead. The Falcons built a 9-3 cushion and the Hawkeyes were never able to cool off the Falcons who hit .583 in the final set to win the match.


  • The Hawkeyes had won seven sets in a row prior to the second set of tonight’s match.
  • Ortega is the first Hawkeye to record 50 or more assists since Buzzerio did so in 2019.
  • Three Hawkeyes recorded double-digit kills: Buzzerio (21), Clayton (17), and Hansen (11). It was the third 20-kill game of the season for Buzzerio.


The Hawkeyes face Denver in Denver, Colorado, tomorrow in the final game of the Mile High Invitational. First serve is scheduled for 7 p.m. (CT).