Aug. 21, 2012
The University of Iowa volleyball team opens the 2012 season Friday and Saturday hosting Chicago State, South Dakota State, Southeast Missouri and Valparaiso in the Hawkeye Challenge presented by Comfort Suites. All matches will be played on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Admission is $5 for adults and free for youth 18 and younger, and UI students with a valid ID.
HAWKEYE CHALLENGE SCHEDULE
|Friday, Aug. 24|
|10 a.m.||Valparaiso vs. Southeast Missouri State|
|12 p.m.||Chicago State vs. Iowa|
|2 p.m.||Southeast Missouri State vs. South Dakota State|
|5 p.m.||Chicago State vs. Valparaiso|
|7 p.m.||South Dakota State vs. Iowa|
|Saturday, Aug. 25|
|10 a.m.||Chicago State vs. South Dakota State|
|12 p.m.||Southeast Missouri State vs. Iowa|
|2 p.m.||South Dakota State vs. Valparaiso|
|5 p.m.||Chicago State vs. Southeast Missouri State|
|7 p.m.||Valparaiso vs. Iowa|
HAWKEYE VOLLEYBALL - STREAMING ONLINE
Fans can follow Hawkeye volleyball at hawkeyesports.com, where play-by-play voice of the Hawkeyes Ian Martin will call the action throughout the season. Hawkeye All-Access, a subscription service committed to providing quality coverage of Hawkeye athletic events, will air the Hawkeye Challenge and every Big Ten match this season.
PARKING INFORMATION - FRIDAY
Fans can park in the Carver-Hawkeye Arena lot at no charge beginning Friday at 4:30 p.m. and all day Saturday. Prior to 4:30 p.m. Friday, public parking is available at an hourly rate at the North Dental Lot, Newton Road parking ramp, and UI Hospital Ramp 3. Public parking is also available at no charge at the UI softball complex (Pearl Field), located at the corner of Highway 6 and 1st Avenue/Hayden Fry Way in Coralville.
OFFICIAL IOWA VOLLEYBALL BLOG - LIVE STATS
Live stats and live blogging will be available for every match of the Hawkeye Challenge. A member of the Iowa volleyball staff will offer scoring updates and interactive content from the Official Iowa Volleyball Blog. Hawkeye manager Libbie Hillmer will host the live blog. Fans can also follow the action with live stats. Visit the Iowa volleyball page at hawkeyesports.com for links to live stats, blogging and Gametracker.
THIS WEEKEND'S PROMOTIONS - FRIDAY
Fans in attendance will receive free schedule posters and magnets. Hawkeye fans are also encouraged to show their ticket stub from the Chicago State match (Noon, Friday) to receive free admission to Friday's match at 7 p.m. The first 250 kids (12 and under) at Friday night's match will receive free back-to-school pencil pouches. In addition, the first 50 UI students with valid ID at the evening match will be awarded free pizza. There will be free food for students at each Friday match throughout the season.
THIS WEEKEND'S PROMOTIONS - SATURDAY
At both matches, a Kids Zone will be available featuring giant board games. Hawkeye fans are again encouraged to show their ticket stub from the early match (Noon, Saturday) to receive free admission to Saturday's match at 7 p.m. The first 150 kids (12 and under) will receive a Hawkeye volleyball folder.
CHICAGO STATE (Aug. 24)
Head Coach: Bob Eskew (3-61, 3rd season)
2011 Record/Away/Conference: 3-28 overall; 3-10 away; 2-8 (Great West)
Series Record/Last Meeting: Iowa leads 3-0/2011, Iowa, 3-0
SOUTH DAKOTA STATE (Aug. 24)
Head Coach: Phil McDaniel (13-20, 2nd season)
2011 Record/Away/Conference: 13-20 overall; 3-10 away; 5-13 (Summit League)
Series Record/Last Meeting: Iowa leads 1-0/2009, Iowa, 3-1
SOUTHEAST MISSOURI (Aug. 25)
Head Coach: Julie Folliard (14-19, 2nd season)
2011 Record/Away/Conference: 14-19 overall; 4-13 away; 12-9 (OVC)
Series Record/Last Meeting: First Meeting
VALPARAISO (Aug. 25)
Head Coach: Carin Avery (241-96, 11th season)
2011 Record/Away/Conference: 20-15 overall; 7-8 away; 9-7 (Horizon)
Series Record/Last Meeting: Iowa leads 1-0/1993, Iowa, 3-0
Senior Allison Straumann and juniors Bethany Yeager and Nikki Dailey have been voted team captains for the 2012 season. Straumann, Iowa's lone senior, has appeared in 43 career matches. Yeager and Dailey both started every match in 2011.
Head coach Sharon Dingman is 4-0 in season openers and 3-1 in home openers since taking over the Iowa program in 2008. Since 1977, the Hawkeyes are 23-12 all-time in season openers and 26-9 all-time in home openers. Iowa has not lost a season opener since 2007 (vs. BYU, 3-2).
The Hawkeyes host the Hawkeye Challenge and make three weekend road trips before beginning their 20-match Big Ten schedule. The entire 33-match schedule includes 18 contests against teams that appeared in the 2011 NCAA Tournament. Iowa will play a home-away series with every Big Ten team except Illinois and Northwestern for the second-straight season. The Hawkeyes face the Illini once (at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, Nov. 24) and the Wildcats once (at Northwestern, Oct. 21).
BIG TEN GOES BIG IN PRESEASON POLL
The Big Ten is represented by seven teams in the AVCA top 25 preseason poll, including four in the top 10. Both mark the most of any conference. Penn State leads the way at No. 3, followed by defending conference champion Nebraska (No. 4). Illinois, the 2011 national runner-up sits at seventh and Purdue is No. 9. Other top 25 residents include Minnesota (No. 16), Michigan (No. 23) and Ohio State (No. 24). Michigan State is receiving votes.
The Hawkeyes have six newcomers on this year's roster. They include sophomore transfers Alessandra Dietz (Loyola-Marymount, 6-1, MB) and Katie Kelley (Maryland, 5-5, DS), and true freshmen Julianne Blomberg (5-11, DS/OH), Kathleen Dailey (5-11, DS/OH), Erin Radke (6-1, RS) and Anne Yanda (5-11, S).
Juniors Bethany Yeager and Nikki Dailey started every match last season. Dailey played in all 123 sets in 2011, while Yeager, an Academic All-Big Ten honoree, has only missed one set in her first two seasons at Iowa (228-of-229).
In 2011, sophomore Alex Lovell led the team in kills and became Iowa's first freshman since 2005 to surpass 300 kills in a single season, recording 312. Junior Nikki Dailey led the team a year ago in assists (1,152) and service aces (33). Junior Bethany Yeager led Iowa in digs (527) for the second time in as many years.
HAWKEYE CHALLENGE HONOREES
Iowa has two players competing this weekend that earned Hawkeye Challenge All-Tournament honors last season. Juniors Nikki Dailey and Bethany Yeager were both named to the squad a year ago. In addition, Dailey, Yeager and Alex Lovell earned Iowa Invitational honors.
YOU FROM AROUND HERE?
Three Hawkeyes on the 2012 roster hail from Iowa City: sophomores Kari Mueller and Katie Kelley, and redshirt freshman Alli O'Deen. Mueller competed at City High School while Kelley and O'Deen led West High School to the 2010 state title.
Hawkeye sophomores Alessandra Dietz and Alex Lovell were high school teammates (2007-10) at Marian High School in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. The two led Marian to three division championships from 2008-10 and a pair of state titles in 2009 and 2010. Dietz and Lovell played club volleyball with Hawkeye sophomore Erin Leppek. The trio led the 17 team to a national title at the 2010 USA Volleyball National Championships and a fifth place finish at the AAU National Championships.
The Hawkeyes have defeated a ranked team in three of Dingman's four seasons. Iowa will have plenty of opportunities to continue that trend, as eight of their 2012 opponents appear in the AVCA top 25 preseason poll. Iowa's top 25 victories since 2008 include: vs. No. 18 Wisconsin (3-0, 2008); vs. No. 18 Michigan State (3-0, 2009); vs. No. 16 Michigan (3-1, 2010).
LIVE ACTION ON BTN
Ten Iowa volleyball regular season contests will be available via live coverage during the season. The Hawkeyes' matches against Penn State on Oct. 24 and at Northwestern on Oct. 21 will be shown on BTN, while eight other contests will be streamed on BTN.com.
SEASON TICKET INFORMATION
Season tickets remain on sale through the UI Ticket Office. Season tickets are two-for-$30 and include a complementary Hawkeye t-shirt. Contact the UI Ticket Office at 1-800-IA-HAWKS or visit hawkeyesports.com to place your season ticket order.
FOLLOW THE HAWKEYES
Become fans of the official Iowa Volleyball fan page by going to facebook.com/iowavolleyball to follow the Hawkeyes on Facebook. Fans can also follow the Black and Gold on Twitter (@IowaVolleyball).