Volleyball concludes season with win at Carver-Hawkeye Arena

The Hawkeyes posted a 1-1 record during their final homestand to finish with a 10-21 overall record on the season.

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Volleyball concludes season with win at Carver-Hawkeye Arena

Iowa seniors Emily Bushman and Meghan Buzzerio are recognized before a volleyball match between the University of Iowa and University of Maryland at Carver Hawkeye Arena on Saturday, November 30, 2019.  The Hawkeyes defeated the Terrapins 3-1.

Iowa seniors Emily Bushman and Meghan Buzzerio are recognized before a volleyball match between the University of Iowa and University of Maryland at Carver Hawkeye Arena on Saturday, November 30, 2019. The Hawkeyes defeated the Terrapins 3-1.

Ryan Adams

Iowa seniors Emily Bushman and Meghan Buzzerio are recognized before a volleyball match between the University of Iowa and University of Maryland at Carver Hawkeye Arena on Saturday, November 30, 2019. The Hawkeyes defeated the Terrapins 3-1.

Ryan Adams

Ryan Adams

Iowa seniors Emily Bushman and Meghan Buzzerio are recognized before a volleyball match between the University of Iowa and University of Maryland at Carver Hawkeye Arena on Saturday, November 30, 2019. The Hawkeyes defeated the Terrapins 3-1.

Austin Hanson, Sports Reporter

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November’s final weekend appropriately punctuated the latest chapter in Iowa volleyball’s history.

The Hawkeyes wrapped up their 2019 campaign with matchups against Ohio State and Maryland at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Iowa fell to the Buckeyes in four sets on Friday night. The Hawkeyes managed to take the first set from Ohio State. From then on, the Buckeyes had laser focus, winning 25-19, 25-11, and 25-19 in the second, third and, fourth sets, respectively.

Despite having four athletes scratched due to injury, Iowa’s luck changed on Saturday evening. After Maryland won the first set 25-17, the Hawkeyes kicked their play up a notch. Iowa won the final three sets 25-20, 25-22, and 25-19, snapping a nine-game losing streak.

With the aura inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena so vibrant on Saturday, it seemed that Hawkeye victory was inevitable. Seniors Meghan Buzzerio and Emily Bushman were both honored before the game.

Buzzerio’s senior season was cut short by an ACL injury. She played her final collegiate volleyball match against South Dakota on Sept. 14.

Emily Bushman participated in 54 matches during her time at Iowa. Bushman was a three-time team captain.

“When I look back at volleyball, I don’t think that it’s going to be the plays that matter,” Bushman said. “It’s not going to be the volleyball, so much as the connections I’ve made with teammates, coaches, and different players across the country. Hopefully, I was a light in somebody’s life when they needed it.”

Iowa head coach Vicki Brown also spoke glowingly of the two Hawkeye seniors.

“Loyalty: that’s the one word I keep coming across to describe those two,” Brown said. “They just really added a lot of value as far as leadership and understanding how this league works.

“They’ll be missed, because it helps a lot when you can hear a senior tell a freshman or sophomore, ‘So it’s not as bad as it seems.’ Sometimes that speaks a little bit more than a coach telling them. Meghan and Emily have done a tremendous job in their roles as captains. We’ve got some big shoes to fill.”

RELATED: Hawkeye volleyball primed for big weekend

Barring something unforeseen, the Hawkeyes’ matchup with the Terrapins will go down as the last match Iowa volleyball played at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Starting in 2020, the Hawkeyes will play their home games inside Xtream Arena at the Coralville River Landing in Coralville, Iowa.

“I told the team in the huddle at the end of the match, ‘You will always go down as the last [volleyball] team to win at Carver,’” Brown said.

Playing a game at Carver for the final time was a bittersweet occasion for sophomore Maddie Slagle.

“Carver has always been home for us,” Slagle said. “We’ve always just been comfortable with it. The thing we’re looking forward to at Xtream is that we’ll hopefully bring in more fans in kind of like a more secure place.”

With 2019 now in the rearview, the Hawkeyes can take the momentum gained from the season’s final night and ride it into the start of the 2020 season. Having gained a new arena and experience, the Hawkeyes are confident going forward.

“With that experience, I believe our competitive drive will enhance,” Brown said. “We now understand that every team in this conference and in non-conference will play us to the very end. So, for 2020, the word is grit. It’ll always be grit, but grit with experience is a little scary. So that’s what I’m looking forward to in 2020.”

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