The Iowa volleyball program has decided its 2020 season will proceed on schedule, and is going from there.
“I haven’t heard anything suggesting there won’t be a season for us,” said Hawkeyes head coach Vicki Brown. “We’re going forward as thinking there’s a guarantee we’ll play this fall.”
It is scheduled to be a big September for Iowa volleyball. The team is scheduled to christen Coralville’s Xtream Arena that month as the 5,100-seat facility in Iowa River Landing becomes the new home of the volleyball Hawkeyes.
Josh Schamberger, the president of the Iowa City/Coralville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the arena is on schedule to be open in August, with the only change to that being if there is a change to University of Iowa fall sports, particularly volleyball.
The change of scenery is expected to inject some excitement into the volleyball program.
“It will be great to be part of a big community moment to be the first event they really have,” said Brown, who became Iowa’s head coach last September.
“There will be intimacy, with fans closer to the court. It will be a completely different way they view volleyball.
“It’s a great add-on to what we want to do, great motivation to do it in a new arena.”
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For now, all the players are in the new reality of being at home with their families, taking their classes online, and trying to figure out how to work on volleyball skills away from courts and teammates.
“That’s the tough thing about our sport,” Brown said. “It’s not like basketball where you can go shoot a thousand shots. In volleyball you need a lot of elements and at least three or four players to get something going on.
“It’s not easy to get reps, but the weather is just now warming up and there are a lot of things they’re able to do from a ball-control standpoint.”
Families can help. Joslyn Boyer, a sophomore-to-be from Downers Grove, Ill., has five siblings in a volleyball family. Two of her teammates at Montini Catholic High School were younger sisters.
Brie Orr of Eagan, Minn., is about to enter her senior season for the Hawkeyes. Her sister, Kennedi, will start her college career at Nebraska in 2021. Junior-to-be Courtney Buzzerio of Chino Hills, Calif., has an older sister (Meghan) who played at Iowa, and their mother played volleyball at UC Irvine.
“It’s good to be at home with someone who understands the game,” Brown said.