Hawkeyes to Face Michigan and Michigan State

Nov. 18, 2003

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This Week: The Iowa volleyball team will travel to Ann Arbor, MI, Friday to face Michigan. Competition is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. (CT) at Cliff Keen Arena. The Hawkeyes will then travel to East Lansing, MI, to face Michigan State. Competition is scheduled for 7 p.m. (CT) at the Jenison Field House.

The Wolverines: Michigan is 17-10 overall and 9-7 in conference play after a loss at Penn State and a win at Ohio State. In conference matches, the Wolverines rank second in the Big Ten in hitting percentage (.253) and third in blocks (2.80) and kills (16.30). Freshman Megan Bowman ranks second in conference matches with 1.38 blocks per game. Senior Erin Moore is tied for sixth with 1.25 blocks. Moore also ranks fifth in kills with a 4.38 average and is tied for eighth in hitting percentage (.303). Junior Jennifer Gandolph is eighth with 3.36 digs per game. Junior setter Lisa Gamalski is averaging 12.65 assists.

Iowa-Michigan Series: Iowa leads the all-time series over Michigan, 22-18. In matches played in Ann Arbor, the series is tied at 10-10. Michigan currently holds a three-match winning streak. Earlier this season the Wolverines defeated the Hawkeyes, 3-0, in Iowa City.

The Spartans: Michigan State is 18-8 overall and 10-6 in the Big Ten after a win at Ohio State and a loss to Penn State. In overall matches, the Spartans rank second in hitting percentage (.263), assists (15.07) and kills (16.44). Junior Kim Schram is second in the conference with 4.74 digs per game. Senior Jenny Rood ranks fourth, hitting at a .357 clip. Senior setter Nikki Colson is averaging 13.51 assists. Sophomore Marley Bellwood is averaging 3.10 digs.

Iowa-Michigan State Series: Michigan State leads the all-time series, 24-21. In matches played in East Lansing, Iowa leads 12-10. The Spartans currently hold a six-match winning streak. Earlier this season Michigan State defeated Iowa, 3-1, in Iowa City.

The Streak is Over!: Iowa snapped a 16-match losing streak and recorded its first home victory of the season in a 3-2 win over Purdue. The win marked the fifth consecutive year that the Hawkeyes defeated Purdue on their home court. Before Iowa’s win last Saturday, the Hawkeyes dropped a 3-1 decision to Indiana Friday.

Career Performances: Senior Abby Tjaden and junior Pam Kavadas each posted career bests over the weekend. Tjaden led the Hawkeyes with a personal-best 20 kills against Purdue. Kavadas collected a career-best 25 digs against the Boilermakers, then shattered her personal mark with 33 digs against Indiana. The mark ranks as the fourth best single-match performance in Iowa history.

Simpson Continues Attack: Junior Laura Simpson has continued her steady attack leading the Hawkeyes in kills in 12 of the last 16 matches. Simpson currently leads the Hawkeyes with 3.89 kills per game. In conference matches, Simpson is averaging 3.92 kills per game. She led the Hawkeyes in their win over Purdue with 20 kills. Against Indiana, Simpson collected 18 kills. In Iowa’s home match against Minnesota, Simpson tied a team best with 22 kills. In Iowa’s home match against Wisconsin, Simpson registered her first double-double of the season with 13 kills and 14 digs.

Giese Attacks Competition: Junior Carolyn Giese currently ranks second on the team with 2.99 kills per game. She also ranks second on the team with .83 blocks per game. In Iowa’s win over Purdue, Giese collected 14 kills, one solo block and five block assists. Against Indiana, Giese collected 16 kills and six block assists. Earlier this season, Giese posted a career-high 22 kills in Iowa’s victory over Duke.

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 1.09 kills and 1.62 digs per game.

Granger Sees Action: After competing in only one game this season, Lastascia Granger has seen playing time in Iowa’s last four matches. Against Purdue, Granger recorded a career-high three kills.

Digging Away: Iowa currently ranks fourth in the conference with 15.96 digs per game. Junior Pam Kavadas leads Iowa with a 3.71 digs per game average.

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 nine double-doubles this season. Stehnova also leads the team with 18 service aces. Stehnova went over the 2,000 assists mark after the Purdue match and currently has 2,012 in her Iowa career.

Match Breakdown: The Hawkeyes have played five five-game matches this season. Iowa only played one five-game match last season (at Purdue 11/1/02). Iowa is 3-2 in five-game matches. The Hawkeyes have competed in four four-game matches and have a 1-3 record. Iowa has played 17 three-game matches and is 2-15.

In Big Ten Rankings: The Hawkeyes are fourth in the conference in overall matches with 15.96 digs per game. Junior Pam Kavadas is third in overall matches with 3.71 digs and ranks second in conference matches with 4.44 digs. In conference matches Laura Simpson is seventh with 3.92 kills per game.

In Iowa Rankings: Jitka Stehnova is currently fifth on Iowa’s all-time assist list with 2,012. Pam Kavadas is 12th in career digs (918). Carolyn Giese is 24th in all-time attack percentage at .186 (538-260-1496).

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.