Iowa hosts Northwestern and Wisconsin in Big Ten action

Oct. 5, 2004

Complete Release in PDF Format
Download Free Acrobat Reader

This Week: The Hawkeyes (9-6, 1-3) travel to Cedar Falls tonight to take on Northern Iowa (8-6, 3-2) and continue Big Ten action against Northwestern (5-9, 0-4) Friday and Wisconsin (8-4, 2-2) Saturday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. All three teams Iowa will face this week made it to the 2003 NCAA Tournament. The matches are all scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Live statistics and updates of all home matches can be found on the volleyball results page at under Gametracker.

Last Week: Iowa continued Big Ten competition on the road against Penn State and Ohio State. The Hawks lost to the sixth-ranked Nittany Lions and to the ninth-ranked Ohio State. Ohio State’s Stacey Gordon was named Big Ten Player of the Week for her play against Minnesota and Iowa last weekend.

The Panthers: Coach Bobbi Petersen’s squad returns just three letterwinners from the 2003 NCAA tournament team, but two of those are leading hitters Shari Vermeer and Rachael Tink. Tink is averaging 3.69 kills per game and leads the team with 23 ace serves. Vermeer averages 3.12 kills per game. She is also dangerous behind the line with 22 aces this year. The Panther roster includes six redshirt freshmen. One of those freshmen, Danielle Brazda, has made big contributions on the court this season. The 6-1 middle blocker leads the team with 1.76 blocks per game and also averages 2.29 kills per game.

Iowa-Northern Iowa Series: The Panthers lead the series 25-21. Iowa last won in 1988. Northern Iowa defeated the Hawkeyes last season, 3-0.

The Wildcats: Four starters are back for Coach Keylor Chan’s Northwestern team. Leading the offense is senior setter Drew Robertson who averages 10.3 assists per game, 2.85 digs, and also has 13 service aces. With nine underclassmen on the roster, many are playing key roles for the Wildcats this year. Sophomore middle blocker Julie Purcell is the kill leader with an average of 3.41 per game. Six-foot freshman Courtnie Paulus is close behind with 3.29 kills per game. Freshman Brittney Aldridge leads the team with .93 blocks per game.

Iowa-Northwestern Series: The Wildcats lead the series 25-22-1. The Hawkeyes last won in 2001. Northwestern won the last meeting in 2003.

The Badgers: Coach Pete Waite’s squad is coming off a 22-11 season in 2003, and finished ranked 21st nationally. Four starters are back, including last season’s two leading hitters. Junior Sheila Shaw is leading the Badgers with 3.86 kills per game and is second with 1.40 blocks. Senior Jill Odenthal posts 3.00 kills per game. Freshman Jackie Simpson has stepped into the setter position and averages 12.27 assists, while freshman Jocelyn Wack is the libero with an average of 4.37 digs per game.

Iowa-Wisconsin Series: The Badgers lead the series 31-17-1. Iowa last beat Wisconsin in 1994. The Badgers defeated the Hawkeyes last year in Michigan.

In Fredrick’s words: “If our team plays the way we did against Ohio State, we will get lots of wins this season. We just need to keep that focus all the time.

“We know Northern Iowa has a tremendous amount of tradition and we have respect for that. At the same time, it doesn’t mean we don’t want to win. It is always tough to play in their gym, but I think it’s the type of venue that we should want to play in all the time.

“Against Northwestern and Wisconsin, we are just hoping to play consistent. We’re excited to be home again. I think people are starting to take more notice of Iowa right now. We’re still trying to get better with each match. I’m happy with how our team is responding to all the competition and how they are responding to improving.”

Making History: Senior libero Pam Kavadas has 290 digs this season. That brings her career total to 1,262. That’s good enough for fifth on Iowa’s all-time dig list. Janet Moylan (1987-1990) is Iowa’s all-time dig leader with 1,931. Kavadas averages 5.58 digs per game, which is the third best individual performance in the Big Ten.

Fellow senior Carolyn Giese is also chasing the record books. Giese has 178 kills this season for Iowa, a team leading 3.42 kills per game. For her career, Giese has 748 kills out of a total of 1,967 attempts. Her attacking percentage as of October 2, 2004, is .209 which puts her at number 17 on the Iowa all-time attack percentage list.

Big Ten News: The Hawks are third in the league in the digs category. Iowa is averaging 17.13 digs per game, behind Minnesota (19.46) and Penn State (18.84)