CORALVILLE, Iowa –The University of Iowa Volleyball team won the first ever volleyball match inside Xtream Arena, defeating Indiana, 3-1, on Friday afternoon.
The Hawkeyes dropped the first set, 25-20, but rattled off the next three sets (25-15, 26-24, and 25-17) to secure their first win of the season.
“It’s definitely a confidence boost,” head coach Vicki Brown said. “A win in the Big Ten is no easy feat. And they know that. They understand that every win – you’ve earned it. It validates our grit approach.”
Iowa set season highs in kills (51), attacking percentage (.227), assists (48) and blocks (17)
Junior Hannah Clayton played a phenomenal game leading Iowa with career-high 13 kills with a .667 attack percentage – the best of any Hawkeye this season. She also tallied eight blocks.
“It was so fun,” Clayton said. “We’ve been excited (about Xtream Arena) before I even committed to Iowa. We’ve been waiting for this for long time. It was so fun to come out with a win against Indiana and execute on all things we’ve been working on as a team.”
Following Clayton was junior Courtney Buzzerio, who led the team with a season-high 21 assists and added a career-high seven blocks. Sophomore Blythe Rients was the third Hawkeye to register at least seven blocks.
“Our middles – we asked them to generate more points from their blocks,” head coach Vicki Brown said. “They worked for it. They earned it and had a great week of practice. Our progression has to be that we’re increasing our block statistics in matches.”
HOW IT HAPPENED
SET 1 (Indiana 25, Iowa 20): Iowa took a 3-1 lead to start set with kills by Rients and freshman Audrey Black. The Hawkeyes and Hoosiers traded points until they were tied at nine. The Hoosiers began to pull away with a 4-1 run to take a 13-11 lead. Down 16-13, Iowa sophomore Edina Schmidt tried to help the Hawkeyes rally back with two kills, cutting into Indiana’s 17-15 lead. Indiana used a 4-1 run to take a 22-16 lead, but Iowa answered with a 4-1 run, before Indiana took the final two points of the set
SET 2 (Iowa 25, Indiana 15): An ace by freshman Leanne Lowry opened the set and Iowa jumped out to a 5-2 lead, courtesy of three kills from Clayton. Iowa went on 8-0 run to extend its lead to 13-5. Clinging to an 18-13 lead, the Hawkeyes used a 4-0 run with blocks by Clayton and a kill by Buzzerio to increased the lead to 22-13. A Buzzerio ace and kills by Black and sophomore Kyndra Hansen sealed the set.
SET 3 (Iowa 26, Indiana 24): Black opened set three with back-to-back kills. Clayton followed Black’s lead with two more kills, giving Iowa a 5-3 lead. Indiana went on a 5-1 run to take the lead, 8-6. Down 12-8, the Hawkeyes fought their way back with aces by Buzzerio and sophomore Joslyn Boyer and three more kills from Clayton to cut into Indiana’s 15-13 lead, forcing an Indiana timeout. Iowa grabbed a lead 21-20 to force another Indiana timeout. Leading 25-24, the Hawkeyes won the set on their second set point on an attack error by Indiana
SET 4 (Iowa 25, Indiana 17): Iowa began the set with a 5-3 lead and expanded the margin to 14-9. Clayton registered three kills to make it 17-10. Blocks by Schmidt, Clayton and Rients brough it to 19-12, forcing an Indiana timeout. Out of the timeout, Iowa went on another 4-1 run to make it 23-14. The Hoosiers tried to answer with their own 3-0 run, but sophomore Grace Tubbs and Iowa shut the door. Tubbs, who entered the match for the first time late in set four, recorded her first kill of the season to make it 24-17, before an Indiana attack error gave the match.
MORE FROM HEAD COACH VICKI BROWN
“This journey to the win was no easy task. Playing with a relatively new lineup this year, we’ve gone through a little bit of adversity at the beginning. For this team full of freshman and sophomore, and sprinkle in some juniors, this was truly a win that feels good to see that we can be a success.”
- Iowa has beat Indiana in three straight matches.
- Sophomore Kyndra Hansen, who did not play at Purdue, registered a season high eight kills.
The Hawkeyes will face the Hoosiers tomorrow at 4 p.m. (CT) inside Xtream Arena.