Iowa Heads to Minnesota, Illinois

Nov. 22, 2004

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This Week: The Hawkeyes (10-20, 2-16) hit the road this week for their last two matches of the season. Iowa will face Minnesota (26-4, 15-3) on Wednesday and then will be at Illinois (18-9, 10-8) on Saturday. Live statistics and updates of the Iowa vs. Minnesota match can be found on the volleyball results page at under Live Stats. Live statistics and updates of the Iowa vs. Illinois match can be found on the volleyball results page at under Gametracker.

Last Week: Iowa snapped its 15-match losing streak last Thursday with a win over Indiana. The Hawkeyes defeated the Hoosiers in five games (30-16, 30-19, 27-30, 27-30, 15-13). Purdue swept Iowa on Sunday (30-20, 30-19, 31-29).

The Gophers: Coach Mike Hebert’s squad is on a five-game winning streak after back-to-back losses to Wisconsin and Penn State a few weeks ago. Senior Erin Martin leads the Gophers with 556 kills this season, an average of 5.05 per game. Fellow senior Trisha Bratford chips in 3.66 kills per game. Sophomore Meredith Nelson puts up 1.01 blocks per game. Minnesota uses a two-setter offense with Lindsey Taatjes averaging 8.63 assists per game and Kelly Bowman 6.58. Conference-leader Paula Gentil is averaging 6.52 digs per game. Minnesota averages 17.6 kills per game compared to 13.9 by opponents. The Gophers have an attacking percentage of .259 to just .159 by their opponents.

Iowa-Minnesota Series: The Gophers beat the Hawkeyes in Iowa City on October 13 (30-21, 30-16, 30-25). That win increased their lead in the series to 53-21.

The Fighting Illini: Junior Rachel VanMeter leads Illinois with 4.33 kills per game and a total of 424 this season. Jessica Belter and Rasa Virsilaite average 3.49 and 3.30 kills, respectively. Stephanie Obermeier has 13.36 assists per game. Lauren Harks has 3.10 digs per game and Jen Hynds averages 1.28 blocks per game. Four players have 20 or more ace serves for Illinois. Meghan Macdonald averages .30 per game and has 29 total. Coach Don Hardin’s squad averages 16.36 kills per game compared to 15.20 by opponents.

Iowa-Illinois Series: The Fighting Illini swept the Hawkeyes (30-19, 30-22, 30-16) in Iowa City on October 15. Illinois leads the series 36-12.

In Fredrick’s words: “We have a very tough road trip this week. We’re playing at Minnesota, then come home for one day for Thanksgiving and then hit the road again to play at Illinois. They are both very good teams and will be tough matches.

I’m really proud that the players have never quit this season and have never given up. The biggest thing is that if we can keep hope alive, then we always have a chance. It would have been easy to give up a long time ago and no one did that. Every player still goes into practice and every match thinking that we still have a chance to win.”

Making History: Senior libero Pam Kavadas has 530 digs this season for a career total of 1,502. That total ranks third on Iowa’s all-time dig list. Janet Moylan (1987-1990) is Iowa’s all-time dig leader with 1,931. Kavadas has also played in every game of her four-year career at Iowa. Going into the last week of play, she has participated in 416 straight games.

Senior middle blocker Carolyn Giese is also chasing the record books. Giese has 331 kills this season for Iowa, a team leading 3.34 kills per game. For her career, Giese has 901 kills out of 2,353 attempts. Her attacking percentage of .210 puts her at 17th on the Iowa all-time attack percentage list and her 901 kills is 15th best in Iowa history. Giese is also eighth on the all-time blocks list with 305 total blocks, 25 solos and 280 block assists.

Senior Laura Simpson will also end her career in the record books. Simpson has 31 solo blocks and 213 block assists. Her 244 total blocks is 13th best in Iowa history.

Big Ten News: In 59 conference games, Pam Kavadas has 305 digs, for an average of 5.17 per game, fourth best in the league. Justeen Patton is 10th in the league with an average of 9.05 assists in 56 games.

Counting all games played this season, Pam Kavadas is third with 530 digs in 102 games for an average of 5.20. Minnesota’s Paula Gentil is first with 717 digs in for an average of 6.52 per game.

Iowa is fifth with 124 aces in 102 games, an average of 1.22 per game. Illinois leads the Big Ten with 156 aces this season, an average of 1.68 per game.

The Hawkeyes are fifth with 1,659 total digs in 102 games for 16.26 digs per game. Minnesota is tops with 2,176 digs, an average of 19.78 per game.