Iowa volleyball set for two-match road trip

The Hawkeyes will take on No. 10 Ohio State and unranked Indiana in its penultimate road trip of the season.


Rachel Wagner

Iowa rightside hitter Courtney Buzzerio spikes the ball during a volleyball match between Iowa and Maryland at Xtream Arena in Coralville on Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021. Buzzerio recorded 23 kills. The Hawkeyes beat the Terrapins 3-1.

Dawson Moore, Sports Reporter

Iowa volleyball has had a bumpy fall 2021 season.

Former Hawkeye starting libero Joslyn Boyer transferred to Wisconsin last May, leaving Iowa without an anchor in the backcourt. Iowa struggled on defense to begin the fall 2021 season and picked up its first conference win after 11 Big Ten games.

Then, Vicki Brown was fired as the Hawkeyes’ head coach on Nov. 4 — a week after the Hawkeyes picked up their first conference win.

Assistant coaches Dave Brown and William Tatge assumed the role of interim co-head coaches. Prior to Vicki Brown’s termination, the Hawkeyes had a 3-19 overall record. Since Nov. 4, however, Iowa has gone 2-2 in its matches.

Now, the Hawkeyes have a 5-21 overall and 3-13 Big Ten record.

“I think we’ve always been a really close team,” senior outside hitter Courtney Buzzerio said. “I think when we have a great team where everyone contributes, that definitely helps our comradery. Especially with the season coming to an end, I think we’ve done a really good job of staying engaged and knowing that there are still four games we can win and be successful in.”

The Hawkeyes found a 3-1 victory against Maryland in their senior night and final home game of the season on Nov. 13. Iowa honored four seniors: Buzzerio, middle blockers Amiya Jones and Hannah Clayton, and defensive specialist Maddie Slagle.

RELATED: Iowa volleyball defeats Maryland, 3-1

Now, Iowa’s attention will move to No. 10 Ohio State and unranked Indiana on the road. And the Hawkeyes feel confident down the stretch.

“I think we’re in a good spot right now, and they’re doing a lot of good things, and we’ve had a good week of practice,” Dave Brown said. “I’m excited. Our goal is to win these next four matches like it should be, and I think we’re taking the right approach to it.”

The Hawkeyes will take on Ohio State on Friday at 6 p.m. for the first match of the road trip. The Buckeyes are led by junior libero Kylie Murr, who tops the Ohio State leaderboard with 409 digs in the 2021 campaign.

“I think we’re going to have to play with some speed,” Brown said. “They’re a big team and they’re aggressive out-of-system as well. They have a really good libero so trying to keep the ball away from her, but again for us, it comes down to if we can control our side of the net.  Can we keep ourselves in system as much as we can, can we play aggressive defense, can we swing aggressively.”

Iowa will then travel to Bloomington to compete against Indiana on Sunday. The Hawkeyes defeated Indiana at Xtream Arena on Nov. 5, 3-1, in their first game since Vicki Brown’s termination.

Iowa will play its final four matches of the 2021 season on the road, wrapping up the campaign against Penn State in State College, Pennsylvania, and Rutgers in Piscataway, New Jersey, next weekend.

All matches will be streamed on BTN+.