Iowa volleyball program adds libero transfer, new assistant coach

The Hawkeyes added William Tatge to their coaching staff as an assistant and UCLA transfer Mari Hinkle to the roster, per a Thursday release.


Shivansh Ahuja

The main floor is seen during Xtream Arena’s opening media tour in Coralville on Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020.

Chloe Peterson, Summer Sports Editor

University of Iowa volleyball officially added two new faces to its program Thursday. Per two UI Athletics releases, William Tatge and Mari Hinkle will join the Hawkeyes for the 2021-22 season.

Tatge will serve as an assistant on Iowa’s coaching staff, while Hinkle suits up in the Black and Gold on the Hawkeyes’ active roster.

Tatge will bring over 10 years of coaching experience with him to Iowa City. His collegiate coaching career started in 2010 at Bethany Lutheran College — an NCAA Division III institution in Mankato, Minnesota. 

After his stint in Minnesota, Tatge was the head coach at Lees-McRae College — an NCAA Division II school in North Carolina — for three seasons, coaching the Bobcats to two consecutive postseason appearances in 2015 and 2016.

Tatge moved on from Lees-McRae College ahead of the 2018 season to become a volunteer assistant at Ohio State. 

For the past two years, Tatge has coached at Louisiana Tech as an assistant. He pushed the Lady Techsters to a 13-15 overall record in 2019-20 — good for the team’s best finish since 2003. In 2020-21, Louisiana Tech volleyball went 1-19.

“I’m excited for William to be joining our staff,” Hawkeye head coach Vicki Brown said in a release. “He will primarily be working with our offense. William is bringing a different background and different levels of experience from overseas to collegiately. I’m looking forward to his knowledge and his training capabilities.”  

While he completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Indiana, Tatge played for the school’s club volleyball team. He later obtained a master’s degree at Durham University in the United Kingdom. Tatge played setter and right-side hitter for Durham’s school-affiliated volleyball team.

Additionally, Tatge suited up for Team Northumbria in the English National Volleyball League.

“I feel honored and blessed to have the opportunity to join the Iowa Hawkeye volleyball program,” Tatge said in a release. “I would like to thank coach Vicki Brown and the administration for this amazing opportunity. I am thrilled to be a part of what coach Brown and the rest of the staff have been building and I can’t wait to continue the growth this program already has. Iowa volleyball is an exciting place to be and I can’t wait to get into the gym with a great group of talented student-athletes and coaches.” 

Hinkle will join the Hawkeyes after spending two years with UCLA’s volleyball program. The defensive specialist and libero played in 68 sets over two seasons with the Bruins. In 20 matches as a freshman on UCLA’s squad, she recorded 40 digs, four aces, and one kill.

During her sophomore season, Hinkle only played in two matches.

“I’m excited for Mari to be joining our program,” Brown said in a release. “She will bring that grit mentality that we always train from a defensive side. She does so well with tracking the ball and moving. I’m looking forward to her passing and serve-receive skills. She’s also going to bring a nice serve and it will be a nice combination of how we’re developing our serve. I’m excited about the overall package that we’ll be adding to our team.” 

Hinkle may add some depth to the Hawkeyes’ back row following the departure of starting libero Joslyn Boyer, who transferred to the University of Wisconsin’s volleyball program in May. Hinkle will join the likes of senior defensive specialist Maddie Slagle in the Hawkeyes’ backcourt.

Iowa went 4-16 in the 2020-21 spring season.

Iowa will return 15 letterwinners for the 2021-22 fall season, including senior setter/outside hitter Courtney Buzzerio, and middle blockers Amiya Jones and Hannah Clayton. The Hawkeyes’ season is slated to start in August.

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