Iowa to Face #21 Wisconsin

Oct. 9, 2003

This Week: The Iowa women’s volleyball team (5-10) will travel to Madison, WI, Friday to face Wisconsin (11-4). Competition is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at the Wisconsin Field House.

The Badgers: Wisconsin, ranked 21st nationally, is 11-4 overall and 3-1 in conference play after a loss at Michigan State and a win at Michigan. In overall matches, the Badgers lead the conference with 2.11 service aces per game. In conference matches only, Wisconsin ranks second in service aces (1.67), fourth in hitting percentage (.261) and fifth in assists (15.22), kills (16.28) and fourth in digs (14.22). In overall matches, sophomore Sheila Shaw ranks third with .48 service aces per game and junior Jill Odenthal is tied for fifth with .41 aces. Senior Lisa Zukowski ranks sixth with 3.26 digs and senior setter Morgan Shields ranks third with 13.33 assists. In conference matches, Shields leads with 13.94 assists. Shaw and Odenthal are tied for fourth with .50 aces per game. Odenthal also leads the Badgers with 4.04 kills. Freshman Maria Carlini is averaging .80 blocks per game.

Iowa-Wisconsin Series: The Badgers lead the series over Iowa, 29-17-1. In matches played in Madison, the Badgers lead 15-8-1. Wisconsin currently holds a 16-match winning streak. Iowa’s last win was November 11, 1994. Iowa is 2-0 in matches played at the Wisconsin Field House this season with wins over Duke and North Carolina State at the InnTowner Invitational.

Iowa Looks to Stop Streak: The Hawkeyes are currently on a six-match losing streak in which they have not won a game. The last time Iowa won a game was September 13 when it defeated North Carolina State (3-0) at the InnTowner Invitational in the Wisconsin Field House.

Costanzo Returns to Lineup: After missing Iowa’s three previous matches due to injury, freshman Tiana Costanzo is expected to be back in the starting lineup for Iowa’s match with Wisconsin.

Hawkeyes Shut-out In Big Ten: Iowa has begun the conference season 0-5 with losses at Purdue and Indiana and home losses to Illinois, Northwestern and Minnesota.

Iowa Falls to Minnesota: The Hawkeyes dropped a 3-0 contest to Minnesota Wednesday evening at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa registered 47 kills, 44 assists, 35 digs and two total team blocks compared to the Gophers’ 51 kills, 45 assists, 48 digs and 13 blocks. Hitting percentage proved to be a factor as Iowa was out-hit .412-.197.

Simpson Continues Attack: Junior Laura Simpson has continued her steady attack leading the Hawkeyes in kills over the last six matches. Simpson currently leads the Hawkeyes with 4.13 kills per game. In conference matches, Simpson is averaging 4.87 kills per game. Against Minnesota, Simpson tied a team best with 22 kills. She has led the Hawkeyes in kills in 10 of 15 matches.

Mech Makes Her Mark: In only her first year of collegiate competition, freshman April Mech has made an instant impact for the Hawkeyes appearing in the starting lineup in all but two matches. Mech is currently averaging 1.61 kills and 1.98 digs per game.

Digging Away: Iowa’s conference-leading 15.80 digs per game has mostly been attributed to the play of junior defensive specialist Pam Kavadas and freshman outside hitter Tiana Costanzo. Costanzo leads the team with 3.13 digs per game. Kavadas is averaging 2.95 digs. Each also split time in the libero position.

Giese Attacks Competition: Junior Carolyn Giese currently ranks second on the team with 3.11 kills per game. Earlier this season, Giese posted a career-high 22 kills in Iowa’s victory over Duke.

Start Me Up: Iowa has used 11 different combinations in its starting lineup this season and 13 Hawkeyes have appeared in the starting lineup in at least one match.

Huguelet Makes First Start: Freshman Jacqueline Huguelet earned her first collegiate start in Iowa’s match with Minnesota. Huguelet recorded a career-high two digs.

Stach and Lingris See Time: After appearing in only one game this season, freshman Meredith Stach stepped in to collect a career-best three kills against Illinois. Stach started the match against Northwestern. Sophomore Alexa Lingris saw her first playing time last weekend, collecting career highs against Northwestern with one service ace and nine digs. She also competed in Iowa’s match with Minnesota.

Lipscomb Earns First Start: The Indiana match marked the first career start for freshman Aabria Lipscomb. Lipscomb set a career-high four kills and recorded three block assists against the Hoosiers. Lipscomb also started against Northern Iowa but did not compete against Illinois, Northwestern or Minnesota due to injury.

Double the Fun: Senior Jitka Stehnova leads the team with five double-doubles this season. Stehnova also leads the team with 15 service aces.

Match Breakdown: 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. The Hawkeyes have competed in two four-game matches and have a 1-1 record. Iowa has played nine three-game matches and is 2-7.

In Big Ten Rankings: The Hawkeyes lead the conference in overall matches with 15.80 digs per game. In conference matches, Iowa ranks fifth with 13.73 digs. Tiana Costanzo is 10th in overall matches with 3.13 digs per game. Junior Pam Kavadas is 13th in overall matches with 2.95 digs and ranks third in conference matches with 3.47 digs. In conference matches Laura Simpson is third with 4.87 kills per game.

In Iowa Rankings: Jitka Stehnova is currently fifth in Iowa’s all-time assists with 1,676. Pam Kavadas is 19th in career digs (739). Carolyn Giese is 24th in all-time attack percentage at .188 (433-208-1196).

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.

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