Iowa volleyball set for homestand against Indiana, No. 4 Wisconsin

With new coaches, the Hawkeyes are looking to build off their momentum from their first conference win of the season last week.


Larry Phan

Iowa right-side hitter Courtney Buzzerio goes for the kill during a volleyball match at Xtream Arena in Iowa City on Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021. Buzzerio recorded 13 kills in the match. The Wildcats defeated the Hawkeyes 3-0.

Dawson Moore, Sports Reporter

Iowa volleyball lost its first 10 Big Ten matches before the Hawkeyes picked up their first conference win of the season last Friday.

The Hawkeyes took down Michigan State in four sets in East Lansing. Iowa has stressed consistency on both ends of the floor in the fall 2021 season and could finally execute.

“I thought it was a good team effort and showed that we can all play consistently for three sets,” senior outside hitter Courtney Buzzerio said. “There have been a couple of matches where we have been close in and have not been able to finish but this win showed us that we can do this, it just takes consistency.”

Iowa was in sync both offensively and defensively in their match against the Spartans. On the defensive end, the Hawkeyes crippled the Michigan State attack with a season-high nine blocks.

As a team, the Hawkeyes registered a .373 hitting percentage. Sophomore setter Bailey Ortega distributed the ball freely, racking up 24 assists.

Now, the Hawkeyes will try to build off their success without their now-former head coach, Vicki Brown.

Brown, who compiled a 17-56 record in almost three seasons, was dismissed as Iowa volleyball’s head coach on Thursday. Assistant coaches Dave Brown and William Tatge will serve as interim head coaches for the remainder of the season. The Hawkeyes will begin a national search for a new coach immediately, Iowa athletic director Gary Barta said in a release.

Iowa will host Indiana and No. 4 Wisconsin this weekend at Xtream Arena.

The Hawkeyes will take on the Hoosiers for the first time in the 2021 season on Friday at 7 p.m. Indiana comes into the match with a 9-15 overall and 3-9 Big Ten record after falling to Northwestern.

Indiana is led by freshman outside hitter Mady Saris, who tops the Hoosiers with 223 kills on the season. Hoosier junior defensive specialist Paula Cerame keeps the ball in play for Indiana, leading the Hoosiers with 386 digs.

After their matchup with the Hoosiers, the Hawkeyes will take on Wisconsin on Saturday at 7 p.m. The Badgers swept the Hawkeyes in Madison on Oct. 6.

Iowa lacked consistency on the offensive end in its first meeting with the Badgers, as Hawkeye freshman outside hitter Addie VanderWeide was the only player to register double-digit kills. The Hawkeyes also only tallied two service aces in the match.

Badger freshman Julia Orzol took down the Hawkeye defensive effort, recording 13 kills in the last matchup. Although the Hawkeyes couldn’t stop the Wisconsin attack, they found success slowing down graduate student Dana Rettke, who finished the match with only nine kills.

This weekend, Iowa will look to continue its momentum against the Hoosiers and the Badgers.

The Hawkeyes will continue their homestand against Minnesota on Nov. 11 and Maryland on Nov. 13 for their final home games of the season. Iowa will finish the 2021 season on the road with matches against Ohio State on Nov. 19, Indiana on Nov. 21, Rutgers on Nov. 26, and Penn State on Nov. 27. All matches will be streamed on BTN+.