Hawkeyes to Open Big Ten Season

Sept. 22, 2003

This Week: The Iowa women’s volleyball team (5-4) will begin Big Ten action when it travels to West Lafayette, IN, Friday to face Purdue (7-3). Competition is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at the Intercollegiate Athletic Facility. The Hawkeyes will then travel to Bloomington, IN, to face Indiana (7-4) Saturday. Competition is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at the University Gymnasium.

The Boilermakers: Purdue is 7-3 overall and 3-0 in home matches this season. The Boilermakers are coming off their third defeat of the season in a 3-1 loss to Notre Dame. Junior Kim McConaha leads the Boilermaker attack averaging 4.06 kills per game and ranks fifth in the conference with a 1.33 blocks per game average. Setter Renata Dargan is averaging 12.58 assists and ranks third in the conference with .56 service aces per game. Sophomore Daren Poe is averaging 3.21 digs.

Iowa-Purdue Series: Purdue leads the all-time series, 31-17. In matches played in West Lafayette, the Boilermakers lead, 16-6. Last season the two team spilts head-to-head competition with both winning at home. The Hawkeyes lost in West Lafayette (3-2).

The Hoosiers: Indiana is 7-4 overall and 5-1 at home. The Hoosiers are coming off three straight victories with wins over Saint Louis, Austin Peay and Western Kentucky over the weekend. The Hoosiers are led by junior Christina Archibald, who is averaging 4.53 kills per game to rank third in the conference. Senior Beth Heimann is averaging 3.48 digs per game, ranking fifth in the Big Ten. Setter Victoria Zimmerman is averaging 13 assists and freshman Katy Jo Mroski is averaging one block per game.

Iowa-Indiana Series: Indiana leads the series, 26-19. In matches played at Bloomington, Indiana leads, 13-8. Last season the Hoosiers won both contests. The Hawkeyes lost in Bloomington, 3-1

Iowa Perfect at InnTowner Invite: The Hawkeyes improved to 5-4 with wins over Duke and North Carolina State at the InnTowner Invitational. Against the Blue Devils, the Hawkeyes avenged a 2-1 deficit to come away with a 3-2 victory. Iowa swept North Carolina State in the first-ever meeting between the two schools.

All-Tourney Team: Hawkeye junior Carolyn Giese and sophomore Echaka Agba were selected to the InnTowner Invitational all-tournament team. The honor marked the first all-tournament selection in Giese’s career and the third in Agba’s. Last year Agba was named to the all-tournament team at both the Quality Inn Downtown/UIC and Western Illinois Invitationals.

Aces Wild: Iowa totaled a season-best eight aces against North Carolina State. Juniors Laura Simpson and Pam Kavadas led the charge with three service aces apiece. The match marked only the second time this season that Iowa has recorded more service aces than its opponent. The Hawkeyes are 1-1 when they record more service aces than their opponent.

Giese Attacks the Competition: Carolyn Giese continued her solid play, setting a career-high 22 kills against Duke. Giese tallied 16 kills against North Carolina State. On the season, Giese has led the team in kills in four of nine matches including the last three.

Agba Sets Career Mark: Echaka Agba set a career high with 21 digs against Duke. She also registered a season-best 19 kills against the Blue Devils. In Iowa’s win over North Carolina State, Agba recorded 12 kills and four digs.

Simpson’s Steady Attack: Junior Laura Simpson continued her steady play with 15 kills and six digs against Duke and 14 kills and nine digs against North Carolina State. Against the Wolfpack, Simpson also tied a career best with three service aces. Simpson leads the Hawkeyes with 3.86 kills per game.

Mech Makes Impact: After missing Iowa’s match at Drake due to injury, freshman April Mech returned to the lineup recording eight kills and 13 digs against Duke. Mech recorded a career-high six assists in Iowa’s win over North Carolina State.

Double the Fun: Senior Jitka Stehnova leads the team with five double-doubles this season. She barely missed double-doubles at the InnTowner Invitational with 55 assists and nine digs against Duke and 39 assists and eight digs against North Carolina State. Stehnova also leads the team with 12 service aces.

Costanzo Provides Impact: Freshman Tiana Costanzo has provided a big spark in her first year of collegiate competition while splitting time at the outside hitter and libero positions. Costanzo has recorded double figures in digs in seven of nine contests and has recorded double figures in kills in two matches. She currently leads the team with 3.3 digs per game.

Marathon Matches: The Hawkeyes have played four five-game matches this season. Iowa only played one five-game match last season (at Purdue 11/1/02). Iowa is 2-2 in five-game matches this season. The Hawkeyes have competed in two four-game matches and have a 1-1 record. Iowa has played two three-game matches this season and is 2-1.

In Big Ten Rankings: The Hawkeyes lead the conference with a 16.97 digs per game average. Tiana Costanzo is ninth with 3.3 digs per game. Junior Pam Kavadas is 14th with 2.84 digs and Jitka Stehnova ranks 16th with 2.76 digs per game. Stehnova also ranks 13th with .32 service aces per game. Laura Simpson is 16th in kills with a 3.86 average. Carolyn Giese ranks 19th with 3.38 kills.

In Iowa Rankings: Jitka Stehnova is currently fifth in Iowa’s all-time assists with 1,524. Pam Kavadas is 20th in career digs (682). Carolyn Giese is 22nd in all-time attack percentage at .202 (387-176-1045).

International Experience: Assistant Coach Chris Gonzalez served as an assistant coach for the USA women’s national team that won the bronze medal match of the Pan American Games. Tiana Costanzo competed for the USA youth squad that spent the summer competing in Montreal. Laura Simpson competed for the Australian national team against Japan and participated in the Thang Long championship against Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Kazakhstan and Thailand.

Home Grown Hawkeyes: The Iowa roster features five Hawkeyes from the state of Iowa. Abby Tjaden is from Eldora, Carolyn Giese Dubuque, Lastascia Granger Waterloo and April Mech and Betsy Cordt Davenport.

The Long Beach State Connection: Head Coach Rita Buck-Crockett and assistant coaches Chris Gonzalez and Melissa Ohta all have ties to the Long Beach State program. Buck-Crockett served as an assistant coach from 1986-88. Gonzalez served as the 49ers’ assistant coach from 1997-2002 and was part of three final four teams, including the 1998 national champion squad that went undefeated (36-0). Ohta was a competitor on each of the final four teams as one of the nation’s top defensive specialists from 1997-2000.

Quoting Buck-Crockett: “We are looking forward to opening the Big Ten season. Everyone is healthy and ready to go. We have seen tape of Purdue and Indiana and they are very good. We are going to have to go out and play very well.”

Complete Release and Statistical Breakdowns in PDF Format
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