Hawkeye volleyball falls to Syracuse

The Hawkeyes dropped to 0-5 on the season following a 3-1 loss to the Orange at Xtream Arena in Coralville Thursday night.


Ayrton Breckenridge

Iowa outside hitter, Courtney Buzzerio, prepares to spike the ball during the volleyball match between Iowa and Michigan State on Friday, March 26 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Spartans beat the Hawkeyes 3-1.

Dawson Moore, Sports Reporter

Iowa volleyball’s defense struggled in the Hawkeyes’ 3-1 loss to Syracuse at Xtream Arena in Coralville Thursday night, surrendering 59 kills. The Orange hit .261 on the four-set match.

Syracuse junior middle blocker Marina Markova and senior outside hitter Polina Shemanova did the most harm to Iowa’s defense, registering 20 and 16 kills, respectively.

Adding insult to injury, Iowa was outblocked, 12-8, Thursday.

While the Hawkeyes still have yet to pick up their first win of the season, they did show signs of life against the Orange. In the game’s third set, the Hawkeyes hit .459 — a season-high single-set hitting percentage for Iowa.

Senior outside hitter Courtney Buzzerio led the Hawkeyes’ offensive charge, racking up a team-high 20 kills Thursday. 

The majority of the assistance Buzzerio received offensively came from senior middle blocker Hannah Clayton and freshman outside hitter Addie VanderWeide. The pair combined for 25 kills on the game.

“It was great to see Addie transfer what we saw against Washington onto the court today,” Hawkeye head coach Vicki Brown said. “She made some good plays for us out of the backcourt, especially defensively.”

Freshman setter Bailey Ortega was almost solely responsible for setting up kill opportunities for Buzzerio, VanderWeide, and Clayton all evening. Ortega accrued 37 of Iowa’s 41 total kills.


Following their loss to the Orange Thursday, the Hawkeyes dropped to 0-5 on the season and 0-1 in the Cy-Hawk Series Tournament. The Hawkeyes are currently ranked last in the Big Ten Conference standings as the only winless team in the league.


Freshman Toyosi Onabanjo gave the Hawkeyes a slight boost in her first career start in the Black and Gold, recording three kills and three digs. 

Onabanjo was a state champion in high school at St. Agnes Academy in Houston, Texas.


Markova and Buzzerio both performed well offensively Thursday, amassing 20 kills apiece. 

The pair also made defensive contributions for their teams, as Buzzerio and Markova produced two and three blocks, respectively.


Two 2021 Cy-Hawk Series Tournament games now remain for the Hawkeyes. Iowa will play 7-0 Ball State Friday and 4-1 Iowa State Saturday. The Hawkeyes’ next two games will stream live on BTN+

The Hawkeyes will begin Big Ten play Sept. 22 against Illinois at Xtream Arena. Iowa’s first conference road game will come Sept. 25 against No. 3 Nebraska in Lincoln.