2023 commit Gabby Deery bringing versatility to Iowa volleyball

The two-time Iowa high school state champion hopes to elevate the Hawkeyes in the Big Ten standings.


Contributed photo of Gabby Deery.

Kenna Roering, Sports Reporter

Iowa volleyball 2023 commit Gabby Deery grew up surrounded by Hawkeyes.

The 6-foot-2 Burlington, Iowa, native has four older sisters — Niko Deery, Bridget Deery, Gracie Deery, and Evie Deery — who all attended the University of Iowa and introduced her to Iowa City from a young age.

“Ever since I was little, I have been a Hawkeye fan,” Gabby Deery told The Daily Iowan. “My four older sisters attending the University of Iowa is how I discovered my love for the school … I was lucky to be able to attend football, basketball, and volleyball games [growing up].”

Gabby Deery will graduate from Burlington Notre Dame High School in May, where she has solidified herself in the volleyball history books.

She holds school records in career kills, career blocks, single-season kills, single-season blocks, and single-season aces. She also led the Nikes to back-to-back state titles in class 1A in her sophomore and junior seasons in 2020 and 2021, respectively.

Despite changing positions from middle to outside hitter in 2021, Gabby Deery was named Player of the Year by the Iowa Coaches Association and a member of the All-Hawk Eye volleyball team. She also earned All-Iowa volleyball team, first-team All-State, first-team All-District, and first-team All-Conference honors her junior year.

Iowa head coach Jim Barnes and associate head coach and recruiting coordinator Brian Yale recruited Gabby Deery as an outside hitter, but she prides herself on her flexibility on the court and believes it can help elevate the Hawkeyes in the Big Ten standings.

“I believe I bring versatility to the program, as I have played outside, middle, and right,” Gabby Deery said. “I am a competitive, hard-working player with a positive attitude … It is very exciting to be a part of the Big Ten conference and compete against some of the best teams in the country.”

Gabby Deery’s experience playing multiple rotations is crucial for a rebuilding Iowa squad that lost two key attackers in seniors Amiya Jones and Edina Schmidt, a middle and outside hitter, respectively.

Despite missing part of the 2022 season due to illness, Schmidt played in 25 matches and tallied 1.32 kills per set. Jones started every match for the Hawkeyes last season and led the team with 2.5 kills per set, 0.36 service aces per set, and 0.68 blocks per set.

Gabby Deery will join three other 2023 commits — setter Kaia Mateo, outside hitter Alyssa Worden, and libero Olivia Lombardi — when she arrives in Iowa City this summer.

“The maturity, work ethic, and character of this group is a great fit on and off the court,” Yale said in a statement about the 2023 class. “Athletically, they provide a great deal of versatility and add immediate depth within each of our positional groups. We’re thankful that each felt as strongly about their fit at Iowa and with our new staff, as we did about them.”

RELATED: Iowa volleyball’s Kaia Mateo coming from Big Apple to Big Ten

Gabby Deery, Mateo, Worden, and Lombardi have already built strong relationships with one another, as they took a visit to the university together in October 2022 and attended two Iowa volleyball games at Xtream Arena.

During the visit, they hung out with their future teammates and coaches. The visit only reassured Gabby Deery that she wanted to be a Hawkeye.

However, she didn’t choose Iowa solely for athletics. An honor roll student all four years of high school and a National Honor Society selection as a junior and senior, she has aspirations to become a dentist, following in the footsteps of her sister Gracie Deery and uncle Brad Randolph.

The UI College of Dentistry — the only dental school in Iowa and one of few dental schools in the nation with advanced programs in all specialty areas — felt like a perfect fit for Gabby Deery.

“When I was looking at schools, team connection, a coaching staff I work well with, academics, and location were all very important for me,” Gabby Deery said. “Iowa has it all.”

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