Oct. 30, 2013
SUMMING IT UP
Iowa volleyball begins the second half of the Big Ten Conference slate on Mediacom Court in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 1-2. The Hawkeyes face Northwestern on Friday night and Illinois on Saturday night. Each match is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. CT. All-Access video, play-by-play and Gametracker are available for each match at hawkeyesports.com.
Friday's match against Northwestern is Hawks Nest Night. All Hawks Nest Members will have the opportunity to register to win Iowa volleyball prizes and will receive free hot dogs and pop. The first 250 fans through the door will receive a complimentary rally towel. The Saturday match against Illinois is Camper Reunion Night. All campers will be able to register to win Iowa volleyball prizes. The first 250 fans in the arena will receive a complimentary canvas tote. The match will also feature a Kids Zone with giant board games and post-match autographs with the Hawkeyes. Fans can get in to the match free of charge with their football ticket stub from the Iowa vs. Wisconsin game.
REACHING A MILESTONE
Junior outside hitter Alex Lovell became the 17th player in Iowa volleyball history to reach the 1,000 career kills mark. She accomplished the milestone with her first kill in the team's match at Penn State on Oct. 26, 2013. She had the following to say after the match: "It's a great accomplishment for me, but I think it speaks more for the team for giving me the opportunity to get my 1,000th kill. My thanks and gratitude goes out to them." Lovell enters the weekend with 1,002 career kills, which ranks her 16th all-time.
Senior libero Bethany Yeager enters the weekend ranked third all-time in career digs with 1,881. She needs 50 digs to tie the current school record of 1,931 career digs held by Janet Moylan and 51 to take sole possession of the top spot. Fellow senior Nikki Dailey is just 19 digs away from becoming the 15th player in Iowa volleyball history to reach the 1,000 career digs mark.
Nikki Dailey is 6th all-time with 2,978 career assists, 14th with 90 career service aces, and 15th with 981 career digs. Bethany Yeager is third in career digs with 1,881, Alex Lovell is 16th in career kills with 1,002, and Rachael Bedell is 19th with 812 career kills.
According to the most recent release of Big Ten Conference statistics on Oct. 28, 2013, Iowa volleyball is third in digs with 1,302 (15.14 per set) and fourth in service aces with 114 (1.33 per set). Alex Lovell is seventh in kills with 308 (3.58 per set) and eighth in points with 333 (3.87 per set). Bethany Yeager ranks third in digs with 359 (4.17 per set), while Nikki Dailey ranks 10th in service aces with 20 (0.26 per set).
Alyssa Klostermann's nine double-doubles earned this season ranks her seventh among all Division I freshmen. Lauren Carlini leads the way with a total of 13 double-doubles, while Mallory Dillon of Saint Louis is second with 11. Penina Snuka of Arizona, Danielle Rygelski of Saint Louis, Kimmy Gardiner of Mississippi State, and Corinne Bain of Harvard follow with 10 double-doubles each this season. Klostermann joins Kyra Holt of Washington State and Katie Brand of Kansas State who all have a total of nine double-doubles in 2013.
BIG TEN NATIONAL RANKS
The Big Ten Conference had seven teams appear in the most recent release of the AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25 Poll on Oct. 28, 2013. Penn State paces the league with a No. 2 national ranking, while No. 10 Minnesota followed. No. 11 Nebraska, No. 14 Michigan State, No. 15 Wisconsin, No. 16 Purdue, and No. 17 Michigan rounded out the poll. Three teams from the conference received votes including: Ohio State (43), Illinois (12), and Northwestern (4).
SCOUTING THE WILDCATS
Northwestern is 13-9 overall and 5-5 in Big Ten play. The team is led by 14th-year head coach Keylor Chan, associate head coach Kirstine Jensen, and assistant coach Scott Leserman. The roster consists of six freshmen, three sophomores, five juniors, and one senior. Stephanie Holthus paces the Wildcat offense with 346 kills (4.07 per set), while Caleigh Ryan has dished out a team-most 889 assists (11.40 per set). Caroline Niedospial has a team-high 371 digs (4.36 per set), and Savannah Paffen leads the way with 79 blocks (0.93 per set). As a team, Northwestern averages 12.98 kills per set and is hitting .223 on the season.
THE LAST TIME
Iowa fell to Northwestern, 3-0, in the teams' last meeting on Sept. 28, 2013. Alex Lovell led the Hawkeyes with 14 kills in the match, and Rachael Bedell posted a team-high .278 hitting percentage. Bethany Yeager's 12 digs and Alessandra Dietz's six total blocks paced Iowa. The Wildcats lead the Hawkeyes 26-38-1 in all-time meetings. Iowa last defeated Northwestern on Oct.23, 2009 by a score of 3-0 (25-23, 27-25, 25-21).
A LOOK AT THE FIGHTING ILLINI
Illinois brings an overall record of 9-11 and a Big Ten Conference mark of 5-5 into the weekend of play. Head coach Kevin Hambly is in his fifth season at the helm of the program, and he is assisted by Dan Conners and Jayme Gergen. The Fighting Illini roster is comprised of six freshmen, five sophomores, three juniors, and two seniors. Jocelynn Birdks leads the way with 297 kills on the year (3.76 per set), and Alexis Viliunas has dished out a team-high 764 assists (9.79 per set). Leading the team in digs is Jennifer Beltran with 306 (3.87 per set). Maddie Mayers has a team-most 82 blocks (1.11 per set). As a team, Illinois averages 12.1 kills per set and is hitting .202 on the season.
THE LAST TIME
The Hawkeyes fell to the Fighting Illini 3-0 in their last meeting at Illinois on Sept. 27, 2013. Alex Lovell paced the team in kills with 11, while Dietz led the way with a .333 hitting percentage and four blocks. Nikki Dailey posted team-highs with 17 assists and 12 digs. Illinois leads Iowa in all-time meetings 13-52. Iowa last defeated the Fighting Illini on Oct. 14, 2005 by a score of 3-0 (30-27, 30-26, 35-33).
TARGETING THE TOP
The Hawkeyes have defeated a ranked opponent in four of Dingman's five previous seasons. Iowa will have plenty of opportunities to continue that trend, as seven of its Big Ten opponents currently appear in the AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25 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); at No. 12 Purdue (3-0, 2012).
NOTHING BUT THE BEST
Iowa became the sixth college team in the country to receive a Taraflex Sport M Plus floor on Sept. 19. The portable playing surface, which lies on top of the basketball court in Carver-Hawkeye Arena, has been the Olympic volleyball surface of choice since 1976. The Hawkeyes played on their new floor for the first time on Sept. 21 against Iowa State.
Season tickets are two-for-$30 and include a complimentary Hawkeye t-shirt. All season ticket holders receive snacks and drinks in the Hadley Club rom following the second set of each home match. Contact the UI Ticket Office at 1-800-IA-HAWKS or visit hawkeyesports.com to place your season ticket order.