Hawkeyes to Compete at Northwestern and Illinois

Nov. 3, 2003

This Week: The Iowa women’s volleyball team (5-17) will travel to Evanston, IL, to face Northwestern (14-10) Friday. Competition is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at Welsh Ryan Arena. The Hawkeyes will then head to Champaign, IL, Saturday to face Illinois. Competition is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Huff Hall.

The Wildcats: Northwestern is 14-10 and 5-7 in conference play after a loss at Penn State and a win over Ohio State. In overall matches, the Wildcats rank second in the conference in kills (16.46) and service aces (1.66). Senior Iwona Lodzik ranks fifth in overall matches with 4.38 kills and fifth in conference matches with 4.33 kills per game. Senior Erika Lange ranks fourth in overall matches, hitting at a .363 clip. In conference matches, Lodzik ranks third with .42 service aces and is sixth with 3.28 digs per game. Lange leads the team in blocks with a 1.24 average. Junior setter Drew Robertson is averaging 12.99 assists per game.

Iowa-Northwestern Series: The Wildcats lead the series over Iowa, 24-22-1. In matches played in Evanston, Northwestern leads, 12-8. The Wildcats currently hold a four-match winning streak. Earlier this season, Iowa fell to the Wildcats, 3-0, in Iowa City.

The Fighting Illini: Illinois is 17-5 overall and 8-4 in the Big Ten after losses at Ohio State and at Penn State. In overall matches, the Illini rank second in opponent hitting percentage (.176) and third in blocks per game (2.92). In conference matches, Illinois is third in opponent hitting percentage (.202) and fourth in hitting percentage (.258) and blocks (.282). Senior Lisa Argabright leads the conference with a .399 hitting percentage in Big Ten play. Argabright is also tied for third in conference matches with 1.33 blocks per game. She ranks second in overall matches (.401). Junior Jessica Belter is fifth in conference matches, hitting at a .324 clip. Junior setter Erin Virtue ranks third in conference matches with 13.50 assists per game. Junior Lauren Harks leads the team with 3.13 digs per game.

Iowa-Illinois Series: Illinois leads the series over Iowa, 35-12. In matches in Champaign, the Hawkeyes lead 17-4. The Illini are currently on a two-match winning streak. Earlier this year, Iowa lost to Illinois, 3-0, in Iowa City.

Iowa Downed by No. 20 Wisconsin: The Hawkeyes remained winless in Big Ten play after a 3-0 loss to 20th-ranked Wisconsin. Iowa hung close throughout the match, leading at several points of each game, but its efforts came up short. The Hawkeyes were edged 30-26 in games one and two and 30-24 in the final game. Iowa was out-hit .223-.113 and was out-blocked, 11.5-5. The Hawkeyes held the advantage in digs, 54-52.

Hawkeyes Fall to No. 23 Minnesota: Iowa dropped its 11th conference match in a 3-0 loss at 23rd-ranked Minnesota on Wednesday. After losing the first two games (30-18, 30-23) the Hawkeyes gained momentum in game three. Iowa was able to tie the score, 29-29, but its effort came up short as the Gophers collected the final two points on kills to claim the match. As a team, the Hawkeyes collected 38 kills, 37 assists, two service aces, 51 digs and three total team blocks. Iowa was out-hit .301-.110.

Huguelet has Breakout Performance: Against Minnesota, freshman Jacqueline Huguelet provided a spark in her second career start, narrowly missing a double-double with nine kills and 11 digs, both career highs. Huguelet also started in Iowa’s match with Wisconsin. She collected six kills and six digs.

Simpson Continues Attack: Junior Laura Simpson has continued her steady attack leading the Hawkeyes in kills in 11 of the last 13 matches. Simpson currently leads the Hawkeyes with 4.03 kills per game. In conference matches, Simpson is averaging 4.22 kills per game. In Iowa’s home match against Minnesota, Simpson tied a team best with 22 kills. She has led the Hawkeyes in kills in 14 of 21 matches. In Iowa’s home match against Wisconsin, Simpson registered her first double-double of the season with 13 kills and 14 digs.

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 for the majority of the season. Mech is currently averaging 1.41 kills and 1.76 digs per game. She has recently missed playing time due to injury.

Giese Attacks Competition: Junior Carolyn Giese currently ranks second on the team with 2.99 kills per game. Earlier this season, Giese posted a career-high 22 kills in Iowa’s victory over Duke.

Stach Provides Impact: Freshman Meredith Stach has appeared in the starting lineup in three of Iowa’s last five contests. She is currently averaging 1.05 kills per game.

Digging Away: Iowa currently ranks third in the conference with 15.45 digs per game. Junior Pam Kavadas leads Iowa with a 3.35 digs per game average. Against Michigan State, Kavadas collected a season-best 21 digs.

Start Me Up: Iowa has used 17 different combinations in its starting lineup this season and 14 Hawkeyes have appeared in the starting lineup in at least one match.

Double the Fun: Senior Jitka Stehnova leads the team with seven double-doubles this season. Stehnova also leads the team with 17 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 three four-game matches and have a 1-2 record. Iowa has played 15 three-game matches and is 2-13.

In Big Ten Rankings: The Hawkeyes are third in the conference in overall matches with 15.56 digs per game. Junior Pam Kavadas is seventh in overall matches with 3.35 digs and ranks second in conference matches with 4.00 digs. In conference matches Laura Simpson is seventh with 4.22 kills per game.

In Iowa Rankings: Jitka Stehnova is currently fifth on Iowa’s all-time assist list with 1,840. Pam Kavadas is 15th in career digs (835). Carolyn Giese is 24th in all-time attack percentage at .189 (492-234-1368).

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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