Feb. 3, 2004
The 2003 Season: The Iowa volleyball team finished the 2003 season 6-24 overall and 1-19 in conference play. Eight of Iowa’s opponents, including seven Big Ten teams, during the 2003 season competed in the NCAA tournament. Of the eight opponents, five advanced to the second round. Penn State advanced to the final eight and Minnesota advanced to the semifinals.
Three Hawkeyes End Careers: Iowa’s match against Penn State marked the final collegiate match for seniors Louise Bates, Jitka Stehnova and Abby Tjaden.
Junior Laura Simpson led Iowa with 3.9 kills per game.
Simpson Continues Attack: Junior Laura Simpson continued her steady attack leading the Hawkeyes in kills 15 of the last 21 matches. Simpson led the Hawkeyes with 3.9 kills per game. In conference matches, Simpson averaged 3.92 kills per game. She led the Hawkeyes in their win over Purdue with 20 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 ranked second on the team with 2.88 kills per game. She also ranked second on the team with .79 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.
Tjaden Stepping Up: Abby Tjaden started in Iowa’s last seven matches. In those matches, Tjaden has averaged 2.17 kills and one block per game. Tjaden set a career-high 20 kills against Indiana.
Mech Makes Her Mark: In only her first year of collegiate competition, freshman April Mech made an instant impact for the Hawkeyes appearing in the starting lineup for most of the season. Mech finished the year averaging 1.43 kills and 1.89 digs per game.
Granger Sees Action: After competing in only one game early in the season, Lastascia Granger saw playing time in Iowa’s last eight matches. Granger has recorded a career-high nine kills in Iowa’s season finale against Penn State.
Digging Away: Iowa finished the year ranked fourth in the conference with 15.82 digs per game. Junior Pam Kavadas led Iowa with a 3.76 digs per game average.
Junior Pam Kavadas led Iowa with 3.76 digs per game.
Start Me Up: Iowa used 20 different combinations in its starting lineup and 14 Hawkeyes appeared in the starting lineup in at least one match.
Double the Fun: Senior Jitka Stehnova led the team with 10 double-doubles this season. Stehnova also led the team with 18 service aces. Stehnova went over the 2,000 assists mark after the Purdue match and recorded 2,159 in her Iowa career.
Match Breakdown: The Hawkeyes played in five five-game matches. Iowa only played one five-game match last season (at Purdue 11/1/02). Iowa is 3-2 in five-game matches. The Hawkeyes competed in five four-game matches and had a 1-4 record. Iowa played 20 three-game matches and was 2-18.
In Big Ten Rankings: The Hawkeyes finished fourth in the conference in overall matches with 15.82 digs per game. Junior Pam Kavadas was third in overall matches with 3.76 digs and ranks second in conference matches with 4.38 digs. In conference matches Laura Simpson is seventh with 3.92 kills per game.
In Iowa Rankings: Jitka Stehnova finished her career fifth on Iowa’s all-time assist list with 2,159. Pam Kavadas is 11th in career digs (972). Carolyn Giese is 24th in all-time attack percentage at .190 (570-273-1564).
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 2003 Iowa roster featured 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.