Iowa volleyball falls to Michigan State

The Hawkeyes dropped to 0-3 in Big Ten play after their loss to the Spartans.


Larry Phan

Outside hitter Addie VanderWeide, middle blocker Hannah Clayton and setter Bailey Ortega gets ready for a high ball near the net at the Xtreme Arena on Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021. Syracuse goes on to defeat Iowa 3-1.

Dawson Moore, Sports Reporter

Iowa volleyball was swept for the second consecutive match Friday. The Hawkeyes fell, 3-0, to Michigan State at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Per a release, the Hawkeyes played at Carver-Hawkeye Arena Friday because there was an issue with the playing surface at Xtream Arena.

Iowa has lost its last five matches and is now 0-3 in Big Ten Conference play.

The Hawkeyes struggled defensively all evening, as Spartan freshman Sarah Franklin finished Friday’s match with 20 kills.

“Franklin was very good for them,” Hawkeye head coach Vicki Brown said. “She moves around the floor very effectively. Franklin was used like we use Buzzerio, and overall, she found ways to score all over the floor tonight.”

Iowa’s pass-serve game did not get Michigan State out of position on many occasions Friday, as Spartan setter Celia Cullen racked up 37 assists.

Iowa was outblocked, 5-4.5, on the match. Blocking has plagued the Hawkeyes all season and inhibited them from winning games.

“Our blocking and defense are two of the biggest things we need to improve on,” freshman Addie VanderWeide said. “If we can get more touches and blocks, then we will be able to get our backcourt and frontcourt in sync and be in a good position moving forward.”


After their loss to the Spartans Friday, the Hawkeyes’ overall record dropped to 2-11 on the season.

Iowa is in last place in the Big Ten standings. The last time the Hawkeyes finished a season at the bottom of the Big Ten was 2017-18.


VanderWeide finished Friday’s match with 14 kills, leading the Hawkeyes and tying her season-high. VanderWeide has recorded double-digit kills in nine matches this season.

“It felt really good to be successful out there tonight,” VanderWeide said. “Obviously, the outcome wasn’t what we hoped for but I felt like our setters put me in a really good position to make plays.”


Senior Courtney Buzzerio’s double-digit kill streak ended against the Spartans on Friday night. Buzzerio finished the match with nine kills and struggled to get going offensively. 

Iowa’s setters, sophomore Bailey Ortega and freshman Jenna Splitt, couldn’t get Buzzerio the ball, hindering her impact on the match. 


Iowa will face Michigan on Saturday night at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Wolverines are 8-4 overall and 1-2 in the Big Ten this season. The Hawkeyes haven’t played Michigan since the Wolverines swept them in 2018.

The Wolverines are led by senior outside hitter Paige Jones, who leads Michigan with 155 kills in 2021. Jones was named an All-American in 2019.

The Hawkeyes and Wolverines will face off at Carver-Hawkeye Arena at 7 p.m. Saturday night. The match will be streamed on BTN+.