Iowa volleyball’s Addie VanderWeide displays disciplined demeanor

The sophomore outside hitter out of Ada, Michigan, is someone her teammates can trust and look to on the court.

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Isabella Cervantes

North Florida outside hitter Mahalia White spikes the ball while Iowa outside hitter Addie VanderWeide blocks the ball during a volleyball match between Iowa and North Florida at Xtream Arena in Coralville on Friday, Sept. 16, 2022. The Hawkeyes defeated the Ospreys 3-0.

Kenna Roering, Sports Reporter


Sophomore outside hitter Addie VanderWeide is known for her calm and disciplined demeanor on the court.

With nine newcomers added to Iowa’s 2022 squad by first-year head coach Jim Barnes, learning how to connect and communicate with one another on the court has posed challenges — but VanderWeide is someone her teammates can easily trust.

“She is the most disciplined player on our team, and it makes it so easy to trust her,” junior setter Bailey Ortega said. “She also just has a super calm mindset no matter what’s going on — how she’s playing or how we’re playing. It’s so great to have her on the court and as a teammate.” 

VanderWeide attended Grand Rapids Christian High School in Ada, Michigan, where she led the Eagles to three consecutive state championships. VanderWeide’s favorite volleyball memory was her first state title, which came during her sophomore season in 2018, marking the first state volleyball title in school history.

“It had never been done before, and it was just a really special group of girls with an amazing coach,” VanderWeide said. “So, just working so hard and accomplishing that to get a first state championship was a really cool experience.”

RELATED: Iowa volleyball’s Bailey Ortega embodies walk-on mentality

The Michigan Gatorade Player of the Year candidate and three-time first-team All-State selection created some buzz around her name during high school, but VanderWeide’s choice for college went deeper than volleyball.

“During my recruiting process, it wasn’t all about the volleyball aspect of it,” she said. “I wanted to choose a school where I liked a lot of other aspects, like education. I’m studying business, and Iowa has a great business school. And just the environment it has being a Big Ten school, and how there’s no other professional sports in the state makes it so cool, because there are so many people that rally around the Hawkeyes.”

VanderWeide made 27 consecutive starts for the Hawkeyes to end her 2021 freshman season and recorded 12 double-digit kill matches under former head coach Vicki Brown. Now, she is utilized as more than just an offensive threat. She has started all 52 sets so far in 2022 and shown grit on the defensive side — she ranks third on the Hawkeyes with 109 digs.

VanderWeide’s discipline limits her mistakes on the court, but when she does find herself out of rhythm, she reminds herself that imperfections are inevitable in the game of volleyball.

“[My mindset is to] take care of my job and remember that it’s okay if one of those roles or one of those specific things that I’m doing isn’t at its best in a game, but just focusing on whatever else I can,” VanderWeide said. “… I think it’s important to have the mindset that not everything’s going to be perfect every game, but still giving it my all and continuing to have that stability in my play.”

The 2022 squad has won six matches this season, matching Iowa’s total wins in 2021.

While the Hawkeyes have a long way to go to secure a spot in the top half of the Big Ten, VanderWeide emphasized how Barnes’ focus towards love, commitment, trust, and sacrifice will help the program get there. VanderWeide feels this team full of new faces has the positive chemistry to make those strides.

“The team chemistry is unmatched this year,” she said.

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