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Hawkeyes Open Big Ten Season
Iowa travels to Northwestern and Wisconsin
Megan Gatens and the Hawkeyes are ready to start the Big Ten season this weekend
Megan Gatens and the Hawkeyes are ready to start the Big Ten season this weekend
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Sept. 19, 2005

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This Week • The University of Iowa volleyball team will open the 2005 Big Ten Conference season with a pair of road games this weekend. The Hawkeyes travel to Evanston, IL, for a game against the Northwestern Wildcats Friday at 7 p.m., then head up to Madison, WI, for a Sunday game with the tenth-ranked Badgers at 1 p.m.

Weekly Press Conference • Each week, Head Coach Cindy Fredrick will host a weekly press conference Tuesday from 11:45-12:15 p.m. at the Iowa Football Complex. The press conference precedes Iowa Head Football Coach Kirk Ferentz's weekly press gathering.

Last Week • The Hawkeyes won the Microtel Inn and Suites Coastal Carolina Classic after sweeping the field. Iowa defeated the host Chanticleers Friday (3-0), then went on to defeat North Carolina A&T (3-0) and East Tennessee State (3-1) on Saturday to take the title.

In game one, Coastal Carolina jumped out to a 7-1 lead, but several errors helped Iowa to a 12-8 advantage. Errors continued to plague both teams in the first game, and the Lady Chanitcleers pulled within two points of the Hawkeyes, 18-16, but Iowa went on to close the game out, 30-23.

Iowa won game two, 30-22, and game three by a score of 30-20. In the final game of the match, the Hawkeyes were ahead 26-20 when Coastal committed four straight errors to end the game.

After a 3-3 tie in game one against North Carolina A&T, the Hawkeyes took the lead on two Iowa kills and three straight errors by NCAT. The Aggies could only close the gap to six points at 16-10 before the Hawkeyes buried them 30-15.

Errors continued to plague NCAT in game two with Iowa leading most of the game. NCAT wouldn't give up, however, and came within one point of the Hawkeyes at 23-22. All that work was put aside after the Aggies committed five errors in the last points of the game to give Iowa the 30-24 victory.

Game three was the closest game of the match with five lead changes and seven ties. The Hawkeyes started to pull away midway through, and Iowa won the game, 30-24, after an attacking error by NCAT.

Against East Tennessee State, Iowa dropped the first game 27-30 before rebounding to take the next three games 30-25, 30-23, 30-24.

All Tournament Team • The Hawkeyes were well-represented on the Costal Carolina Classic All-Tournament team, with Catherine Smale and Kiley Fister named to the squad and Tiana Costanzo named tournament MVP.

Scouting Northwestern • The Northwestern Wildcats come into the weekend with an impressive 9-1 record. The team's only loss came at the hands of 17th-ranked Arizona, and Northwestern has won six in a row since.

The Wildcat's leading attacker is Lindsay Anderson, who has a team-best 124 kills. Two others to watch are Brittany Aldridge (67 K, .372 Hit%) and Cassie McLaughlin (91 K, .348 Hit%).

Setting up these hitters will be Laura Greenwood and Stephanie Jurivich. Greenwood leads the team with 248 assists, while Jurivich has 161.

Northwestern leads the all-time series 27-22-1, and has won the last seven meetings. The Wildcats are 14-8 at home against Iowa.

They are coached by Keylor Chan, who is in his sixth season at the helm.

Scouting Wisconsin • The Wisconsin Badgers are 8-1 and ranked No. 10 in the nation in the latest CSTV/AVCA Coaches Poll.

The Badgers are led by 2004 Honorable Mention all-America middle blocker Shelia Shaw, who has 80 kills and 43 blocks on the year.

As a team, the Badgers lead the Big Ten in hitting percentage (.290), assists per game (15.85), kills per game (17.30) and blocks per game (3.76).

Wisconsin leads the all-time series 33-17-1 and have a 16-8-1 advantage in matches played in Madison. The Badgers are currently riding an 18-game winning streak over Iowa.

They are coached by Pete Waite, who is in his seventh year at Wisconsin.

Good Out of the Gates • Through 12 games, the Hawkeyes are off to their best start since 1988, when Iowa started 11-1. That year was also the only time Iowa reached the NCAA Tournament.

Big Ten Off to "Major" Start • Of the six major conferences in the country (ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-10, SEC), the Big Ten is the only league to boast every team with a record better than .500. Purdue leads all Big Ten schools with an 11-0 mark, while Indiana is the 11th conference school over .500 at 6-5 (.545). Overall, the Big Ten is off to a 91-23 (.798) non-conference start.

Pair of Aces • Two Hawkeye freshmen were serving up some heat last weekend. Libero Emily Hiza registered seven aces on the weekend, giving her the team lead at 15. Outside hitter Catherine Smale recorded six aces, giving her 12 on the year.

Racking Up the Awards • Junior outside hitter Tiana Costanzo won her second tournament MVP award last weekend at the Coastal Carolina Classic by turning in an amazing weekend. Costanzo recorded 34 kills, 36 digs and hit at a .416 clip in the three matches.

She was also named MVP of the Hawkeye Holiday Inn Classic.

Can You Dig It? • The Hawkeyes lead the Big Ten Conference with 691 digs. As a team, Iowa averages 15.36 digs per game.

Making Them Count • Sophomore outside hitter Stacy Vitali leads the team with a .295 hitting percentage. She is second on the team with 146 kills and third with 346 attempts.

The Century Club • The Hawkeyes have three players with 100 kills on the season. Catherine Smale leads the way with 159, Stacy Vitali has 146 and Tiana Costanzo has 130.

Junior middle blocker Melanie Meister is set to join the century club, as she has 99 kills heading into the weekend.

Freshman Digger • Freshman libero Emily Hiza leads the Hawkeyes with 163 digs. She is also ninth in the Big Ten with 3.62 digs per game.

Freshman Disher • Freshman setter Kiley Fister is third in the Big Ten with 473 assists. She is averaging 10.51 assists per game, good for ninth in the conference.

Freshman Killer • Freshman outside hitter Catherine Smale leads the team with 159 kills. She is averaging 3.53 kills per game, good for tenth in the Big Ten.

Ranked Recruits • The Hawkeye freshman class is one of the most accomplished recruiting classes Iowa has ever brought in, and they were ranked 30th in the nation by PrepVolleyball.com. It is the fifth-ranked class in the Big Ten behind Penn State (No. 2 nationally), Minnesota (No. 4), Purdue (No. 6) and Wisconsin (No. 17). Stanford has the nation's top-ranked recruiting class.

The class consists of Laura Kremer, Catherine Smale, Kiley Fister, Emily Hiza, Felicia Booth, Laura Gustin and Mary Puck.

Prep All-Americans • Three members of the Hawkeye freshman class were named high school all-Americans by PrepVolleyball.com. Kiley Fister, Catherine Smale and Emily Hiza were all honored by the website.

Take Me To Your Leader • Junior middle blocker Melanie Meister and junior outside hitter Tiana Costanzo are the Hawkeye captains this season.

The Assistant Coaches • Dr. Mashallah (Farokh) Farokhmanesh and Chad Hanson will serve as assistants to Head Coach Cindy Fredrick again this season. Farokh, the associate head coach, is the husband of Coach Fredrick.

Welcome Aboard • The Hawkeye coaching staff has a new addition this year with DeAnn Woodin joining up as the programs first Director of Volleyball Operations.

Woodin will work closely with the Hawkeye volleyball staff, helping coordinate and carry out the day-to-day activities in the program.

She joins the staff after a successful run as the head coach at Kirkwood Community College. In her two seasons at the helm, she led Kirkwood to a 81-25 record, two undefeated conference seasons and the school's first-ever NJCAA Division II National Championship in 2003.

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