V-ball springs into new season

The volleyball Hawkeyes focus on individual growth for the spring season of competition.


The Daily Iowan; Photos by Josep

Iowa’s Reghan Coyle and middle blocker Kelsey O’Neill block a spike during an Iowa/Purdue volleyball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017. The Boilermakers defeated the Hawkeyes, 3-2. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Volleyball’s offseason work will move into competition beginning March 24, when Iowa travels to take on Iowa Western and Drake.

The structure of spring season is very different from the fall season. Spring is focused on individual improvement as well as team-building; the fall season concentrates on working toward a central goal of making the NCAA Tournament.

“I think we really break down the first six weeks, we break down our skills and just focus on individual stuff,” junior Meghan Buzzerio said. “These next six weeks, we’ll work more on team play and just working together with our system. It’s a good, even balance to help prepare.”

Buzzerio began her career by appearing in every match for the Hawkeyes. In the fall, she only appeared in 21.

For those Hawkeyes who didn’t see much action in the fall, the spring is the time to work on their individual skills to prepare for the coming season.

“We really get the opportunity to see both Meghan Buzzerio and Cali Hoye in more expanded roles in the outside-hitter position,” head coach Bond Shymansky said. “We get to see our back-row group really experiment with back-row positions as well as working to figure out who our new libero is going to be.”

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The individual improvement also goes along with trying to create team chemistry, despite losing big senior players and adding newcomers.

Chemistry will be big for the Hawkeyes.

“I think just getting stronger and getting more comfortable with everyone around us,” Buzzerio said. “We have new personnel out there, so forming that team chemistry on the court but also just working on the little details of passing and just getting stronger in the front row.”

In Shymansky’s tenure as head coach, the goal has been working toward the NCAA Tournament. For the past two seasons, the squad has narrowly missed that achievement. The spring season is the starting point to finally put the team on the national map.

However, it’s a long road to next fall, and there are smaller things the team needs to work on first.

“The biggest part of the journey today is staying on the mission of individual growth,” Shymansky said. “Spring season is great for teamwork, but it’s really ‘impactful’ for individual development. We just want to make sure that each player inside our program is improving, developing new technical skills, and strengthening their true mental toughness.”

The rest of Iowa’s spring schedule will feature matchups with in-state rivals Northern Iowa and Iowa State, as well as North Dakota State, Missouri, Omaha, Northern Illinois, and Dordt.










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