24 Hawkeyes to Watch (2009-10 season)
MICHIGAN, MICHIGAN STATE AWAIT HAWKEYES
The Hawkeyes continue Big Ten play this weekend with trips to Michigan State and Michigan. Iowa travels to East Lansing, MI, to face the Spartans Friday at 6:05 p.m. (CT) before heading to Ann Arbor, MI, for a Saturday contest with the Wolverines at 6 p.m. (CT).
Fans can follow Hawkeye volleyball on hawkeyesports.com, where play-by-play voice of the Hawkeyes Mike Haberle will call the action live from the campuses of Michigan and Michigan State. This weekend's live audio 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.
The Hawkeyes' contest at Michigan State will be streamed live via BigTenNetwork.com. The Big Ten Network is committed to providing Big Ten fans with the best and most coverage of the schools and teams they are most passionate about. BigTenNetwork.com is a subscription based service. Fans interested in watching the Hawkeyes should visit BigTenNetwork.com and create a personal profile page. Cost is $2.99 per event.
HAWKEYES DIG DEFENSE
Iowa ranks atop the Big Ten averaging 15.63 digs per set. Senior libero Christina Meister ranks second in the Big Ten with 4.46 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).
HUFFMAN CLOSES IN ON CAREER MARK
Junior OH Aimee Huffman has amassed 199 kills in 2009, 14 kills shy of matchinig her career high. She added 18 kills last weekend, including a match-high 14 in Iowa's 3-0 win over Northwestern. Huffman recorded a career-best 213 kills in 2008 and collected 192 kills her freshman season (2007).
SCHIPPER CONTINUES HER CLIMB
On October 23rd, senior Megan Schipper was honored for becoming the 16th player in program history to record 1,000 career kills. The Aplington, IA, native passed the elusive number in Iowa's 3-1 win at Wisconsin (9/23). The Hawkeye captain currently ranks 13th on Iowa's all-time list with 1,083 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. She tallied a career-high 345 kills in 2008, the second-highest total on the team (Catherine Smale, 380). This season, Schipper leads Iowa with 3.20 kills per set.
KRIEGER KITTLE REACHES CENTURY MARK
Freshman Emma Krieger Kittle reached the 100-kill plateau Oct. 17 at Purdue. The freshman has totaled 117 kills this season and averages 1.94 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, including freshman Emma Krieger Kittle. Iowa's outside hitter picked up career highs in digs (3) and total blocks (3) vs. eighth-ranked Illinois (10/23). The Iowa City native recorded a career-high 12 kills vs. 11th-ranked Iowa State (9/11) and has collected 46 of her 117 kills in Iowa's six games vs. ranked opponents, averaging 2.10 kills per set.
HIT IT AND WIN IT
The Hawkeyes are 11-0 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' 11 losses.
AMONG THE NATION'S BEST
The Big Ten once again leads the nation with three teams ranked in the top seven of the latest AVCA coaches poll. The Big Ten is also the only conference in the country with four teams in the top 10 of the latest NCAA RPI report. 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 (6), Minnesota (7) and Michigan (13).
The 13th-ranked Wolverines are led by 11th-year Head Coach Mark Rosen and OH Veronica Rood. The senior ranks 10th in the Big Ten with a .336 hitting percentage. She totaled a match-high 19 kills in Michigan's 3-2 win over the Hawkeyes in Iowa City (10/9). Michigan has won the last four meetings and leads the all-time series, 29-23. Iowa last defeated the Wolverines in 2007. The Hawkeyes rallied from two sets down to defeat Michigan, 3-2, at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa has not won at Michigan since rallying from two sets down to win, 3-2, in 2000.
The Spartans are led by fifth-year Head Coach Cathy George and MB Vanessa King. The MSU senior ranks ninth in the Big Ten averaging 1.10 blocks per set. King was held without a block in Iowa's 3-0 win over the Spartans in Iowa City (10/11). Michigan State leads the all-time series, 33-24. The two teams split the season series in 2008, with each team defending their home court. The Hawkeyes have not won at East Lansing since rallying from a 2-0 deficit to win, 3-2, in 2000.
IOWA IN THE ATTENDANCE GAME
Iowa ranks 32nd in national attendance, averaging 1,224 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 (240) and service aces (25) and ranks second in digs (230). Hilgenberg leads the Hawkeyes with 740 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.
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.