Iowa volleyball falls at Carver Hawkeye Arena

Hawkeyes fall to No. 16 Washington and Colorado during their first games of the season at Carver Hawkeye Arena.


Megan Nagorzanski

Iowa outside hitter Meghan Buzzerio goes for a kill during a volleyball match between Iowa and Washington at Carver Hawkeye Arena on Saturday, September 7, 2019. The Hawkeyes were defeated by the Huskies, 3-1.

Sydney Becker, Sports Reporter

For the first time in five years, the Hawkeyes dropped their home opener at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, losing both games of the Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge against Colorado and No. 16 Washington. 

To begin the weekend, the team hit a roadblock with a loss to the Buffaloes, 3-0, on Sept. 6. 

The team worked up some numbers, however, led by junior Brie Orr with 31 assists. Senior Meghan Buzzerio, and junior Halle Johnston followed with 13 kills and 21 digs, respectively. Junior Halle Johnston marked 25 digs for a career high, while Orr hit a season-high with three block assists. Freshman Kyndra Hansen set a career high with two kills, as well. 

“We threw Hansen in the second set, and it’s not always easy for a freshman to come in and connect with the team, but she did a good job and made some good offensive and defensive plays,” head coach Vicki Brown said in a release. 

With close calls in each set of the first game, the team battled to make their mark and hit their points. Both in Colorado’s favor, set one ended 25-22 followed by another close call in set two, 25-20. The final set, the closest of the three, was tied at 21 until the Buffaloes took the lead and gained control. 

RELATED: Iowa volleyball looks to win fifth consecutive home opener

The second game of the weekend ended with a loss to the Huskies, 3-1, again with some statistical output. Buzzerio tied a previous career-high in kills with a total of 23. One of three captains for the 2019 season, Buzzerio was named to the all-tournament team in response to her high number of kills. 

“Meghan Buzzerio is holding the weight of what we are giving her. She is taking the responsibility of taking our team forward,” Brown said in a release. “The players are buying into it, and these are good signs.”

Orr also marked a season-high with 43 assists. Johnston had 22 digs over the course of the game. Hansen and Amiya Jones hit the charts with a career-high eight kills and a season-high 10 kills, respectively. 

The team as a whole hit a season-high in blocks, with a total of 10, five of which came from sophomore Hannah Clayton. 

The first set against Washington moved past 25 points until the Hawkeyes fell to the ranked team, 33-31. The Huskies took set two, 25-23, before the Hawkeyes gained a win in set three, 25-20. The fourth set contained a lead that transferred between teams for the first portion until the Huskies took control to end the set, 25-23.

Next weekend, the Hawkeyes will take on Wyoming, University of California — Davis, and South Dakota when they travel to Vermillion, South Dakota, for the South Dakota Tournament.