Hawkeye volleyball drops both matches of Pac-12/Big Ten Challenge

The Hawkeyes are still winless after losing in four sets to both Colorado and No. 11 Washington in the Pac-12/Big Ten Challenge this weekend.


Ryan Adams

Iowa outside hitter Courtney Buzzerio spikes a ball towards the Ohio side of the net during a volleyball match between the University of Iowa and Ohio State University at Carver Hawkeye Arena on Friday, November 29, 2019. The Buckeyes defeated the Hawkeyes 3-1.

Will Fineman, Sports Reporter

The Hawkeye volleyball team will continue to search for its first win of the 2021 fall season after dropping matches to Colorado and No. 11 Washington this weekend in the Pac-12/Big Ten Challenge in Champaign, Illinois.

Senior outside hitter Courtney Buzzerio has solidified her role as the focal point of the Hawkeye offense, leading Iowa in kills in every match so far this season. The Chino Hills, California, native tallied 16 kills in both matches and added 16 digs against Colorado.

Even with the boost from Buzzerio, Iowa lost both matches in four sets. 

The Hawkeyes’ first set against Colorado Friday was neck-and-neck to the 10th point, until the Buffaloes went on a 6-0 to win the set, 25-15.

The Hawkeyes took a 17-14 lead in the second set, looking to even the score. But Colorado came storming back with Pac-12 Player of the Week Leah Clayton tallying four of her match-high 17 kills to put the Buffaloes up two sets.

The Hawkeyes managed to take the third set, 25-23, before losing by 10 points in the fourth to drop the match.

“I am proud of the team for set three,” head coach Vicki Brown said in a release, Friday.  “It takes the whole team to get that win after being down two sets. This was a tough match for our offense.”

In the Hawkeyes’ opening set against No. 11 Washington Saturday, Iowa put up a .416 hitting percentage and got off to an early lead with a 28-16 first-set victory.

But the Huskies took complete control of the match after stumbling in the first as they held Iowa under 17 points for all three remaining sets. 

Sophomore setter Bailey Ortega tallied 39 assists for the Hawkeyes and added five digs. 


Brown’s squad struggled to find a second option on offense, electing to force the ball to Buzzerio for 84 attack attempts over two matches. 

Junior outside hitter Kyndra Hansen tallied 10 kills with a .471 hitting percentage against Washington. 

Hansen was the Hawkeyes’ No. 2 option on offense last spring before missing the majority of the season due to injury. So far, Hansen has returned to that role, slating the second most attack attempts for Iowa this season. 


Hawkeye senior Courtney Buzzerio was named to the Pac-12/Big Ten Challenge All-Tournament team for her performances against Colorado and Washington. 

In two matches, Buzzerio tallied 32 kills, 19 digs, two blocks, and a .155 hitting percentage. 


After stepping on the court for the first time as a Hawkeye last week against Duke, freshman Addie Vanderweide got the nod to start at outside hitter against Washington on Saturday. 

In her first start as a Hawkeye, Vanderweide tallied a career-high 10 kills, 1 block, and an efficient .471 hitting percentage. 


The Hawkeyes will play their home-opener at Xtream Arena against Syracuse on Sept. 9 in the Cy-Hawk Series Tournament. 

Iowa will face Ball State on Sept. 10 before its rivalry matchup against Iowa State on Sept. 11.