The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Iowa women’s volleyball to continue rebuild in 2023 season

Despite a 10-21 record in 2022, the Hawkeyes will continue to improve under the helm of second-year head coach Jim Barnes.
Grace Kreber
Iowa middle hitter Delaney McSweeney spikes the volleyball during a volleyball game between Iowa and Purdue at Xtream Arena in Coralville on Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022. The Boilermakers defeated the Hawkeyes 3-1. McSweeney had 9 kills during the match.

The 2023 season will be the year of the rebuild for the Iowa women’s volleyball team.

The Hawkeyes ended the 2022 season 10-21 overall and 4-16 in Big Ten play, placing second-to-last in the conference standings in its sixth-straight season of losing records.

Before the start of that 2022 season, the University of Iowa Athletics Department appointed former Tulane head coach Jim Barnes to lead the Hawkeyes in the right direction. In its first year under Barnes’, the team improved by four wins from 2021 to 2022.

Nine players from last season will join Barnes in returning this year, including fifth-year middle hitter Jacqlyn Caspers and seniors Audrey Black, Delaney McSweeney, and Bailey Ortega.

Fifth-year outside hitter Caitlan Buettner from Texas State, sophomore outside hitter Nataly Moravec from BYU, and sophomore middle hitter Maddy Hanson from Denver are all new additions to the roster acquired from the transfer portal.

With the combination of veteran players that know Barnes’ system, experienced transfers, and freshmen, Barnes believes the Hawkeyes are building a winning culture.

“When you walk in the gym and you watch them train, we’re much further ahead [this year than last year at this time] just because the team understands our system,” Barnes said. “I believe this team — from what I’ve seen in two weeks, they’ve trained all summer, they’ve been here — they’re going to exceed every expectation.”

There are many key games to look forward to this season for the Hawkeyes. All Big Ten contests are must-win to compete in the conference, but the Hawkeyes’ success in non-conference matchups will show their true potential and progress.

The first key game will be at home against longtime rival Iowa State on Sept. 6. The Hawkeyes’ Big Ten home opener comes on Sept. 21 against Minnesota, followed by a home game against Ohio State on Sept. 24 and an away game against Indiana on Sept. 29.

Iowa’s toughest opponent will be Wisconsin, who has been crowned the conference champion in the last four seasons. The Hawkeyes will host the Badgers on Oct. 4 and have another challenge against Penn State the following week on Oct. 13.

Iowa will then see neighboring rival Illinois at home on Nov. 10, host senior night against Northwestern on Nov. 12, and play its last home game of the season against Nebraska on Nov. 19.

“You [have] got to fight; you’ve got to treat your players well, and that’s what’s helping us right now,” Barnes said. “There’s no other way around it. There’s no magic pill. There’s no shortcut. We work hard just like we’ve asked our players to, and we’ll get the right players in here to help us win.”

The Hawkeyes’ first set of home games will take place Sept. 1-3 at Xtream Arena in Coralville as a part of their Fryfest Invitational, where they will face Middle Tennessee State on Friday at 6 p.m., Kent State on Saturday at 6 p.m., and South Dakota State on Sunday at 2 p.m.

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About the Contributor
Chris Meglio, Sports Reporter
Chris Meglio is a first year student at the University of Iowa studying a double major in sport studies and journalism. He will be working as a sports journalist for The Daily Iowan covering women's volleyball for the fall sports season.