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 volleyball signs three athletes for 2024

Head coach Jim Barnes announced the signings of three standouts, Kamaluhia Garcia, Jaimie Marquardt, and Jenna Meitzler, on Nov. 8.
Iowa+head+coach+Jim+Barnes+yells+during+a+volleyball+match+between+Iowa+and+Rutgers+at+Xtream+Arena+on+Friday+Oct.+27%2C+2023.+The+Scarlet+Knights+defeated+the+Hawkeyes%2C+3-2.+In+his+first+season+in+2021%2C+Barnes+led+Iowa+to+their+best+season+since+2019.
Isabella Tisdale/The Daily Iowan
Iowa head coach Jim Barnes yells during a volleyball match between Iowa and Rutgers at Xtream Arena on Friday Oct. 27, 2023. The Scarlet Knights defeated the Hawkeyes, 3-2. In his first season in 2021, Barnes led Iowa to their best season since 2019.

Iowa volleyball head coach Jim Barnes announced on Nov. 8 that the program signed three players for the 2024 season. Kamaluhia Garcia, Jaimie Marquardt, and Jenna Meitzler have all committed to playing volleyball at the University of Iowa. 

 

Kamaluhia Garcia

Kamaluhia Garcia, known better as Malu, is a 6-foot-2 outside hitter hailing from Hilo, Hawaii. 

The Hilo native made the move to Honolulu to pursue volleyball at Moanalua High School. There she excelled and was a three-time all-state honoree in Hawaii,  a two-time all-East Player Of the Year, and was one of 24 girls in the nation to be selected as an Under Armour All-American. The Moanalua Menehune finished third at the 2023 state tournament. 

With her successful high school career and play for the Ku’ikahi Volleyball Club, Garcia made herself a household name in the state of Hawaii and has become one of the best volleyball players in the country. Her inspiration led to ESPN Honolulu creating a documentary about her called “The Volleyball Star From Hilo.”

Iowa associate head coach Brian Yale believes Garcia is going to make an impact right away. 

“The level that she can play at is truly special,” Yale said about Garcia’s skill. “The quickness of her arm, the blocking ability, the hitting of the ball, just the total package. It’s really exciting because those are the caliber of players we’re looking to bring in and need to bring in to compete in the Big Ten, and she’s a great start to that.”

Jaimie Marquardt

Jaimie Marquardt is a highly skilled 5-foot-9 libero from Libertyville, Illinois. 

Marquardt is one of the best volleyball players in the state of Illinois. She logged 1,762 assists, 567 digs, and 203 kills in 274 total sets played throughout her prep career at Libertyville High School. 

During her time in high school, and with her club team Sky High Volleyball, Marquardt has stacked up her resume with several honors. 

She is a two-time North Suburban All-Conference honoree, 2023 third-team AVCA High School All-American, two-time IVCA All-State recipient, two-time News-Sun Volleyball All-Area member, and two-time Daily Herald Lake County All-Area athlete. She led her high school team to four straight conference championship titles, two regional titles,  and the 2023 sectionals title. 

Marquardt is also strong academically as she was a member of the National Honors Society and was named IVCA Academic Girls’ All-State Team in 2022 and 2023. 

“With Jaimie, it was how easy she made the game look,” Yale said about the libero. “She knows the game from multiple aspects. But just her confidence, her ability to be unfazed if she makes an error and bounce right back and make that next play is special … She was highly sought after, and we’re certainly glad that she chose us.”

Jenna Meitzler

Jenna Meitzler, a 6-foot-1 setter from Barrington, Illinois, is ranked as the No. 1 setter in the state per PrepDig Volleyball. 

Meitzler accumulated 692 kills, 453 digs and 139 assists in 306 serves played throughout her four years at Barrington High School. 

Meitzler had a very successful career at Barrington. She notched 2023 second-team AVCA High School All-American and All-Area honors, 2023 first-team All-State honors, and was named the 2023 Mid-Suburban League West Player Of the Year and 2023 Daily Herald Player Of the Year. She also was a member of the Junior USA Handball team.

Meitzler led Barrington to a state title in 2020 as well as two third-place finishes in 2021 and 2022. The Broncos won three conference titles and have accumulated three regional, sectional, and super sectional wins. 

Meitzler played club volleyball with Marqurdt at Sky High Volleyball, so their connection will be pre-existing playing for the Hawkeyes. Meitzler will carry on the Hawkeye legacy, as her mom is an Iowa alum. 

“She gives us a good presence at the net, both offensively and as a block,” Yale spoke about Meitzler. “Huge competitor, highly successful at the high school level. But again, just the competitiveness and the high ceiling she has. She has a lot of room to grow over the next four years here at Iowa.”

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Chris Meglio, Sports Reporter
(he/him/his)
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.