Hawkeyes to Host No. 22 Michigan State and Michigan

Oct. 20, 2003

This Week: The Iowa women’s volleyball team (5-13) will host 22nd-ranked Michigan State (12-6) Friday and Michigan (13-6) Saturday. Both matches are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

The Spartans: Michigan State is 12-6 overall and 4-4 in conference play after a loss at Illinois and a win over Northwestern. In overall matches, the Spartans lead the conference in kills (16.74) and are second in hitting percentage (.270) and assists (15.26). Senior setter Nikki Colson leads the conference in overall matches with 13.53 assists per game and is second in conference matches with 13.21 assists. Senior Jenny Rood is third in overall matches with a .378 hitting percentage and leads the Big Ten in conference matches hitting at a .388 clip. Junior Kim Schram is third in overall matches with 4.48 kills. Sophomore Marley Bellwood is ninth with 3.14 digs per game.

Iowa-Michigan State Series: Michigan State leads the series, 23-21. In matches at Iowa City the Spartans lead, 11-8. Iowa’s last win over Michigan State was a 3-2 victory on October 21, 2000.

The Wolverines: Michigan is 13-6 overall and 5-3 in the Big Ten after a win over Northwestern and a loss to Illinois. The Wolverines lead the conference in overall matches with 3.05 blocks per game. In conference matches, Michigan is second in hitting percentage (.258) and blocks (3.16) and are third in kills (16.26). Senior Erin Moore is fifth in the conference with 4.26 kills per game. Junior Jennifer Gandolph is seventh with 4.06 kills. Freshman Megan Bowman is tied for fourth with 1.37 blocks per game and Moore is seventh (1.33). Gandolph is tied for eighth with 3.19 digs per game. Junior setter Lisa Gamalski is averaging 12.74 assists.

Iowa-Michigan Series: Iowa leads the series over the Wolverines, 22-17. In matches played in Iowa City, the Hawkeyes hold a 12-6 advantage. The Hawkeyes’ last victory over Michigan was a 3-1 win on November 3, 2001.

Iowa Looks to Stop Streak: The Hawkeyes are currently on a nine-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.

Hawkeyes Stumble on the Road: Iowa dropped its seventh and eighth conference losses of the season in 3-0 losses at Penn State and at Ohio State. Iowa was held to a season-low .050 hitting percentage at Penn State, posting 36 kills while committing 30 attacking errors. The Hawkeyes produced a solid effort at Ohio State, losing games one and three by only two points. Iowa held the advantage in digs (45-44) and total team blocks (8-7.5) over the Buckeyes, but were edged in kills (57-33) and out-hit (.117-.226).

Stehnova Has Impressive Outing: Jitka Stehnova led the way for the Hawkeyes against Ohio State with eight kills and no errors in 10 total attempts, hitting at a .800 clip. The mark tied junior Amoreena Reynolds’ school record for best attack percentage in a match (minimum of 10 total attempts) set last season. Stehnova narrowly missed a triple double as she added 22 assists and 10 digs. She also recorded one block and one block assist.

Stach Records Career High: In only her second start of the season, freshman Meredith Stach collected a career-high seven kills against Ohio State.

Simpson Continues Attack: Junior Laura Simpson has continued her steady attack leading the Hawkeyes in kills in seven of the last nine matches. Simpson currently leads the Hawkeyes with 3.95 kills per game. In conference matches, Simpson is averaging 4.12 kills per game. Against Minnesota, Simpson tied a team best with 22 kills. She has led the Hawkeyes in kills in 11 of 18 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 four matches. Mech is currently averaging 1.54 kills and 1.87 digs per game.

Digging Away: Iowa currently ranks third in the conference with 15.58 digs per game.

Giese Attacks Competition: Junior Carolyn Giese currently ranks second on the team with 3.06 kills per game. She led Iowa against Penn State with 14 kills. Earlier this season, Giese posted a career-high 22 kills in Iowa’s victory over Duke.

Start Me Up: Iowa has used 13 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.

Lingris Sees Time: Sophomore Alexa Lingris saw her first playing time in Iowa’s match against Illinois. She collected career highs against Northwestern with one service ace and nine digs. She has also competed in Iowa’s matches with Minnesota, at Penn State and at Ohio State.

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 has not seen playing time in the last six matches due to injury.

Double the Fun: Senior Jitka Stehnova leads the team with six double-doubles this season. Stehnova also leads the team with 16 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 12 three-game matches and is 2-10.

In Big Ten Rankings: The Hawkeyes are third in the conference in overall matches with 15.58 digs per game. Junior Pam Kavadas is seventh in overall matches with 3.19 digs and ranks second in conference matches with 3.92 digs. In conference matches Laura Simpson is sixth with 4.12 kills per game.

In Iowa Rankings: Jitka Stehnova is currently fifth in Iowa’s all-time assists with 1,763. Pam Kavadas is 17th in career digs (781). Carolyn Giese is 24th in all-time attack percentage at .191 (458-217-1265).

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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