Aug. 25, 2010
The Hawkeyes open the 2010 season hosting the Hawkeye Challenge Friday-Sunday in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa opens the Challenge Friday at 7 p.m. against Alabama. The Hawkeyes host Southern Illinois Saturday at 7 p.m. before concluding the Challenge against Green Bay Sunday at 2 p.m.
HAWKEYE CHALLENGE SCHEDULE
Admission to the Hawkeye Challenge is $3. Youth high school age and younger and UI students gain free admission. Click HERE for season ticket information.
HAWKEYE CHALLENGE PROMOTIONS
Cool Down Carver
Friday: The first 500 people in attendance will receive "Point Iowa" fans to keep themselves cool on a hot summer night in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Saturday and Sunday: First 250 attendees receive "Point Iowa" fans.
Junior Hawk Club (Friday)
Junior Hawk Club members should present their memberships cards at the promo table at the WEST entrance for an entry form into the drawing for one of three Hawkeye prize packs.
Fraternity/Sorority/Dorm Challenge (Saturday)
Highest percentage of people from any UI Greek house or dorm floor will win a tour of Kinnick Stadium and a pizza party in the Paul W. Brechler Press Box.
Camper Reunion Day (Sunday)
2010 volleyball campers will pose for a group picture before the game on the court
Campers are encouraged to wear camp t-shirts
Honorary captains will be able to sit by the Hawkeye bench
Floor seats on the home bench (west end) will be reserved for campers, friends, and family
Campers can hand in a postcard at event for a chance to win a Hawkeye Prize Pack
UI Faculty/Staff Appreciation Day (Sunday)
Free admission when showing your faculty/staff ID at Sunday's game.
Throughout the season, fans will be able to follow the Hawkeyes via Gametracker, live streaming and live audio by visiting hawkeyesports.com. Iowa's Hawkeye Challenge matches will be available via Hawkeye All-Access. There will be video but audio is not provided this weekend. Gametracker will be available for all three weekend matches.
Audio, video and Gametracker links can be found on the volleyball schedule page of hawkeyesports.com.
"We are very excited to start the season against such quality opponents. Alabama, Southern Illinois and Green Bay present great challenges for us. Our staff is pleased with the level of play we have seen from the players thus far and now it's time to see how we respond in a meaningful, competitive environment. This group plays hard so I'm confident our fans will enjoy watching the Hawkeyes again this season."
Head Coach Sharon Dingman
IOWA ON THE BTN
The Hawkeyes will make three appearances on national television this season. Each of Iowa's contests versus No. 6 Minnesota (10/6, 10/27) and the home match against Northwestern (10/30) will be televised live on the Big Ten Network. All three matches will be broadcast in high-definition.
ALABAMA (game one)
The Crimson Tide are members of the South Eastern Conference and led by 15-year had coach Judy Green. Green, the 1993 AVCA "Coach of the Year," has announced she will retire at the end of the 2010 season after collecting over 600 career victories. Alabama fnished 8-22 in 2009 and are led by senior outside hitter Alyssa Meuth, a second-team all-SEC selection a year ago. Alabama has won the only two meetings between the two schools.
SOUTHERN ILLINOIS (game two)
The Southern Illinois Salukis are picked to finish sixth in the Missouri Valley Conference preseason poll. The Salukis are led by sixth-year head coach Brenda Winkler and senior outside hitter Jenneifre Berwanger, a 2009 first team all-MVC honoree. Southern Illinois finished 18-12 in 2009 to post its best finish in seven season. The Hawkeyes lead the all-time series, 6-1.
GREEN BAY (game three)
The Phoenix are members of the Horizon League and led by 14-year head coach Debbie Kirch, the winningest head coach in Phoenix history. Green Bay finished 10-20 a year ago and are led by senior setter Whitney Schott. Iowa leads the all-time series 2-0, including a 3-0 victory at Green Bay's Country Inn and Suites Classic last season.
Iowa assistant coach Ben Boldt and director of operations Angie Boldt each spent time on the Alabama staff prior to joining the Hawkeyes. Ben Boldt was an assistant coach at Alabama from 2007-08 and helped lead the Tide to the NCAA tournament in 2007. Angie Boldt was a graduate assistant with the Crimson Tide from 2006-08.
Senior Aimee Huffman continues to rehab from a right should injury and will miss the 2010 season. Huffman was an Academic all-Big Ten honoree in 2009 and was expected to be Iowa's top returning scorer. Last season, the Poth, TX native ranked among the team leaders in kills (second), assists (third), blocks (third) and digs (third). Huffman started the first 26 games of 2009 before missing the final six matches due to illness. She was named MVP of two preseason tournaments and earned all-tournament honors at last year's Hawkeye Challenge.
DEEP IN THE HEARTLAND
The Hawkeyes have four freshmen on the roster, including three from the Lone Star State. Freshmen Bethany Yeager (Brenham, TX), Chante' Thompson (Hurst, TX) and Rachael Bedell (Plano, TX) all come from the state of Texas. The trio is joined by freshman Nikki Dailey (Franklin, WI). Iowa's freshman quartet make up a 2010 recruiting class that earned Highest Honorable Mention by PrepVolleyball.com.
Iowa opens the season with three straight home matches before hitting the road for seven of its next eight contests, including a conference-opening road trip to Michigan and Michigan State. Fourteen of Iowa's 29 matches are against 2009 NCAA Tournament qualifiers. They include Iowa State, Saint Louis, Illinois (2), Michigan (2), Michigan State (2), Ohios State (2) and Penn State (2).
Seniors Signe Mueller Becky and Walters have been voted team captains for the 2010 season. Walters, a fifth-year senior from Parkersburg, IA, recorded a career-best 181 kills in 2009, the third highest total on the team. Mueller, a senior libero from Iowa City, IA, began last season as Iowa's starting libero and wen ton to record a career-best 98 digs.
BIG IN `09
The Hawkeyes continued to show signs of improvement and postseason potential in Dingman's second season at the helm of the Iowa program. The Hawkeyes recorded five conference victories to raise their two-year win total to 11, the highest two-year win total in nine years. Other 2009 highlights include: ranked No. 23 in national attendance
set average attendance record of 1,632
hosted the two largest crowds in program history, including a school record 3,102 fans Nov. 11 vs. Penn State
started the season 6-0, matching the best start in program history
first team in program history to start the season 7-0 on the road
ranked No. 23 in national attendance
AMONG THE NATION'S BEST
Four Big Ten teams rank in the top 12 of the AVCA Division I Coaches Preseason Poll, which was released last week. Defending national champion Penn State topped the charts after receiving 40 first-place votes. The Nittany Lions have been ranked atop the poll since Oct. 29, 2007, the year they won their first of three straight national championships. Illinois and Minnesota tied for sixth in the first poll of 2010, while Michigan appeared at No. 12. Ohio State, Michigan State and Wisconsin received votes last week, earning mentions in the preseason poll.
The Big Ten led the nation in attendance in 2009 and has been the national leader on seven occasions in the last 13 years, including four of the past six seasons.
Big Ten volleyball possesses unrivaled national television coverage. Twenty-three regular-season games reached a national television audience in 2009, while another 21 were streamed online at www.bigtennetwork.com. This year, 23 regular-season contests will be televised and additional matches will be streamed online at www.bigtennetwork.com.
Big Ten teams have combined to reach the NCAA semifinals on 17 occasions.
The Big Ten has sent three or more teams to NCAA regionals on 15 occasions, including each of the past eight years.
The Big Ten owns a 208-126 (.623) overall record in NCAA competition and has posted a record of .500 or better in each of the past 19 NCAA tournaments.