24 Hawkeyes to Watch (2009-10 season)
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HAWKEYES HOST NORTHWESTERN, ILLINOIS
The Hawkeyes return home this weekend to host Northwestern and Illinois at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa's contest vs. the Northwestern Wildcats begins Friday at 7 p.m. The Fighting Illini then come to town Saturday for a 7 p.m. matchup.
The Iowa volleyball program will host a food drive Friday in support of Food Bank Week. Any fan who brings two non-perishable food items will receive free admission to Iowa's 7 p.m. match vs. Northwestern. Collection bins will be located at the North and West entrances of Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
The Hawkeyes will host a "Pink Match" Saturday to help raise breast cancer awareness. Fans are encouraged to dress in pink and cheer on the Hawkeyes when they face the Fighting Illini at 7 p.m. at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The first 300 fans will receive an official Pink Weekend t-shirt.
The University of Iowa volleyball program is celebrating its history by hosting Hawkeye Volleyball Alumni Night this Saturday. Former players are invited to meet the 2009 Hawkeyes, enjoy a tour of Carver-Hawkeye Arena and cheer on the Black and Gold as they host the Illinois Fighting Illini at 7 p.m.
Fans can follow Hawkeye volleyball on hawkeyesports.com, where play-by-play voice of the Hawkeyes Mike Haberle will call the action live from Carver-Hawkeye Arena. This weekend's live audio and video broadcast is provided by Hawkeye All-Access, a subscription service committed to providing quality coverage of Hawkeye athletic events.
OFFICIAL IOWA VOLLEYBALL BLOG - LIVE STATS
Live stats and live blogging will be available for all Big Ten matches in 2009. A member of the Iowa volleyball staff will offer scoring updates and interactive content from the Official Iowa Volleyball Blog. Visit the Iowa volleyball page at hawkeyesports.com for links to live audio, video, blogging and Gametracker.
IOWA ON THE BTN
The 2009 Hawkeyes will make two appearances on the Big Ten Network this season. Iowa opened the Big Ten season on the Big Ten Network with a 3-1 win at Wisconsin, Sept. 23. The rematch between the Hawkeyes and Badgers, Wednesday, Nov. 11, will be broadcast live from Carver-Hawkeye Arena at 7 p.m.
SCHIPPER CLIMBS THE CHARTS
Senior Megan Schipper became the 16th player in program history to record 1,000 career kills in Iowa's 3-1 win at Wisconsin (9/23). The Hawkeye captain currently ranks 13th on Iowa's all-time list with 1,070 career kills. She picked up her 200th kill of the 2009 season in Iowa's 3-0 win over 18th-ranked Michigan State (10/11). Schipper has collected at least 300 kills in each of the previous two seasons, including 2007, when she led the Hawkeyes with 309 kills as a sophomore. The Aplington native tallied a career-high 345 kills in 2008, the second-highest total on the team (Catherine Smale, 380). This season, Schipper leads Iowa with 3.29 kills per set.
MEISTER DIGS DEFENSE
Senior libero Christina Meister ranks second in the Big Ten with 4.43 digs per set. Since 1990, only three Hawkeyes have averaged more than four digs per set through an entire season: Pam Kavadas, 5.22 (`04); Emily Hiza, 4.74 (`06) and 4.52 (`07); Janet Moylan, 4.63 (`90).
KRIEGER KITTLE REACHES CENTURY MARK
Freshman Emma Krieger Kittle reached the 100-kill plateau Oct. 17 at Purdue. The freshman has totaled 106 kills this season and averages 1.96 kills per set in conference play, third best among Hawkeyes. Other Hawkeyes to record at least 100 kills as freshmen include Megan Schipper (189, `06), Aimee Huffman (192, `07) and Megan Eskew (163, `07).
KRIEGER KITTLE VS. RANKED OPPONENTS
Competition can bring out the best in people, just ask freshman Emma Krieger Kittle. The Iowa City native recorded a career-high 12 kills vs. 11th-ranked Iowa State (9/11) and has collected 41 of her 106 kills in Iowa's five games vs. ranked opponents, averaging 2.16 kills per set.
HIT IT AND WIN IT
The Hawkeyes are 10-0 when attacking at a higher percentage than their opponent this season. Conversely, Iowa's opponent has hit a higher percentage in each of the Hawkeyes' 10 losses.
The Wildcats are led by 10th-year Head Coach Keylor Chan and libero Kate Nolio, Northwestern's all-time leader in digs. The senior needs seven digs to become the first player in program history to reach 2,000 career digs. Northwestern leads the all-time series, 32-25-1. Iowa won both meetings in 2008, including a 3-1 victory in Iowa City.
The Fighting Illini are led by first-year Head Coach Kevin Hambly and libero Ashley Edinger. The senior earned Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honors after averaging 6.3 digs per set against Northwestern and Minnesota. Illinois leads the all-time series, 45-13. The Hawkeyes were swept by the Fighing Illini last season and have not defeated Illinois since winning 3-0 at Illinois in 2005. Iowa's last win over the Illini in Iowa City was a 3-1 victory in 2002.
IOWA IN THE ATTENDANCE GAME
Iowa ranks 30th in national attendance, averaging 1,267 fans per game. Iowa opened the season (Sept. 11) vs. Iowa State in front of 2,111 fans, the second-largest crowd in program history (2,191 vs. Wisconsin, 10/13/07).
Senior outside hitter Megan Schipper and junior setter Mara Hilgenberg are Iowa's team captains for the 2009 season. Schipper leads the Hawkeyes in kills (210) and service aces (23) and ranks second in digs (188). Hilgenberg leads the Hawkeyes with 634 assists and is a third generation Hawkeye captain. Her great-uncle Wally and her uncle Jim were football team captains in 1963 and 1977, respectively.
Mara Hilgenberg's father Jay and Emma Krieger Kittle's father Bruce played football together at Iowa from 1977-1980. Jay was a four-time letterwinner and went on to win Super Bowl XX with the 1985 Chicago Bears. Bruce used a redshirt in 1980 and came back as a team captain for Hayden Fry's 1981 Big Ten Championship team.
AMONG THE NATION'S BEST
The Big Ten is widely recognized as one of the nation's premier conferences. Penn State returns as the conference champion, winner of the last two NCAA Championships and ranked atop the 2009 AVCA Coaches Poll. Other Big Ten schools ranked in the top 25 include Illinois (8), Minnesota (9) and Michigan (11).
FOLLOW THE TEAM WITH IOWA'S VOLLEYBLOG
Iowa volleyball fans will be able to follow along with senior Megan Schipper, junior Aimee Huffman, sophomore Mallory Husz and freshman Emma Krieger Kittle as they blog about the season. All four student-athletes will discuss things like upcoming matches, road trips and what it's like being a student-athlete at the University of Iowa. Visit the volleyball home page to check out Iowa's own VOLLEYBLOG.