Hawkeyes Host Minnesota and Indiana

Oct. 24, 2005

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This Week ? The University of Iowa volleyball team will host a pair of Big Ten opponents this week, taking on No. 18 Minnesota Wednesday at 7 p.m. and Indiana Friday at 7 p.m.

Hawkeyes on the Web ? If you can’t make it out to Carver-Hawkeye Arena this weekend, you can still follow all of the action on www.hawkeyesports.com, where live stats will be available for every home game and select road games this season. Just click on the “gametracker” link on the schedule page.

Weekly Press Conference ? Each week, Head Coach Cindy Fredrick will host a press conference Tuesday from 11:45-12:15 p.m. at the Iowa Football Complex. The press conference precedes Iowa Head Football Coach Kirk Ferentz’s weekly press gathering.

Pack the Place ? The University of Iowa will attempt to break the team’s attendance record by hosting “Pack the Place” night when the Hawkeyes host Indiana Friday at 7 p.m.

“Pack the Place” coupons that reduce the price of admission to just $1 are available at the UI Athletic Ticket Office and all locations of the University of Iowa Community Credit Union.

There will be numerous promotions that night, including giving one lucky fan a chance to drive away in a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt in the “Serve an Ace” competition to be held at intermission.

Last Week ? The Hawkeyes dropped a pair of matches last week at the hands of ranked opponents. Iowa fell to No. 3 Penn State 3-0 (30-15, 30-21, 30-23) on Friday, then lost to No. 20 Ohio State 3-1 (27-30, 30-21, 30-23, 30-27) Saturday.

Penn State came out pumped up in game one, and its front row proved to be a difficult match-up for the Hawkeyes. Iowa managed only seven kills for a .033 hitting percentage to the Nittany Lions .467 attacking percentage and 17 kills. Stacy Vitali and Melanie Meister each had two kills for Iowa.

Game two was better for the home team as they hung with Penn State in the opening points of the game. The Hawkeyes had a 4-2 lead when the Lions starting hammering down kills to overcome the deficit. Despite losing the game, 30-21, Iowa improved their attacking efficiency to a .250 hitting percentage on 15 kills.

Iowa played its best volleyball of the night in the final game of the match. The Hawkeyes stayed close to Penn State through the first half of the game, knotting the score up six times up to a 17-17 deadlock. However, the attacking ability of Penn State was up to the task and came back to put away the Hawkeyes, 30-23.

In game one against Ohio State, the Hawkeyes went ahead 22-20 on a Jacqueline Huguelet ace. Iowa kept the momentum and forced Ohio State to call a timeout with the score in Iowa’s favor 26-21. Back-to-back errors by the Buckeyes gave Iowa a 28-24 lead, but Ohio State wasn’t done and came back with a kill by Marisa Main. Catherine Smale smashed home a kill for the sideout, 29-27, and Kiley Fister served home the game point for the 30-27 win.

The Buckeyes responded in game two by jumping out early for the lead. The Hawkeyes clawed their way back into the game and were down just 17-20, but Iowa turned into their own worst enemy and had three straight errors to fall behind 23-17. Ohio State kept applying the pressure and won 30-21.

In the third game, the Hawkeyes were ahead 15-12 when Ohio State came back to knot up the score at 15. Vitali had a kill to put Iowa on top again 16-15, but the Hawkeyes quickly found themselves trailing Ohio State and couldn’t make up the difference. The Buckeyes took the game by a score of 30-23.

The final game of the match was a nail biter from beginning to end. Ohio State held a slim 21-20 edge on a Meister kill, but successive kills gave the visitors some more cushion. The Buckeyes were up 27-21 when the Hawkeyes made a comeback attempt, but the deficit proved to be too much and Ohio State won the game 30-27.

Scouting Minnesota ? The Minnesota Golden Gophers are currently 16-5 and 6-4 in the Big Ten Conference. They are ranked 18th by the AVCA.

The Golden Gophers boast one of the best sets of middle blockers in the Big Ten with Meredith Nelson and Jessy Jones. Nelson leads the team with 206 kills and has 77 blocks and a .329 attack percentage. Jones has a team-best 78 blocks to go with her 187 kills and .345 hitting percentage.

Dishing the ball to the offense is first team all-Big Ten setter Kelly Bowman, who has 596 assists on the year. She also has 145 kills.

On defense, the backbone of the Golden Gophers is three-time all-American libero Paula Gentil, who has 385 digs on the year.

Minnesota leads the all-time series 46-12. The Gophers defeated Iowa 3-0 earlier this year in Minneapolis.

The Golden Gophers are coached by Mike Hebert, who is in his 10th season.

Scouting Indiana ? The Indiana Hoosiers are 9-13 on the season with a 2-8 mark in the Big Ten.

The Hoosier attack is led by freshman hitter Erica Short, who has 294 kills (3.67 per game) on the season. Rachel Gerling is second on the squad with 249 kills.

Laura Holm is the Hoosier setter, and has 857 assists on the season.

Indiana leads the all-time series 29-22. The Hawkeyes defeated Indiana 3-1 earlier this season in Bloomington.

The Hoosiers are coached by Katie Weismiller, who is in her 13th season at the helm.

Rough Schedule ? Wednesday’s game against Minnesota will be Iowa’s fourth straight against ranked opponents. In its last three games, Iowa has played No. 21 Purdue, No. 3 Penn State and No. 20 Ohio State.

Mistake-free Volleyball ? Sophomore Megan Gatens played very well last weekend, not making a single error in 22 attempts. She recorded eight kills on the weekend for a .364 attack percentage.

Gatens is second on the team with a .270 attack percentage in Big Ten Conference play.

A Move Outside ? Freshman libero Emily Hiza saw her first collegiate action at outside hitter last Saturday against Ohio State. She did well, recording a career-high eight kills on 27 attempts. Not forgetting her libero roots, she also added five digs.

First Action ? Senior libero Lauren Bruckner saw her first action of the year Saturday against Ohio State. Bruckner had sat out most of the season rehabbing a wrist injury.

Stepping Up Against the Best ? Sophomore outside hitter Stacy Vitali saves her best for the best. This season, she is hitting .360 with 3.69 kills per game against teams ranked it the top 20.

Overall, Vitali is hitting .300 with 3.33 kills per game.

A Big Ten Ace ? Junior hitter Jacqueline Huguelet has 13 aces on the season – 10 of which have come during Big Ten Conference play. That total ties freshman Kiley Fister for the team lead in conference play.

Freshman Hitter ? Freshman outside hitter Catherine Smale leads the team with 317 kills and a 3.73 kills per game average, which is good for sixth in the Big Ten Conference.

In Big Ten play, Smale’s average jumps to 3.91 kills per game. That total is good for fifth in the conference.

Vitali Hits Season High ? Sophomore Stacy Vitali recorded a .559 hitting percentage against Ohio State last Saturday. That is the highest total for a Hawkeye this season.

Already Better Than Last Year ? The Hawkeyes have 13 wins this season, already giving them more than they had all of last year. Iowa’s 3-0 win over Illinois last Saturday gave them a 3-5 conference record, tying the number of Big Ten wins from the last two seasons combined.

Take Me To Your Leader ? Junior middle blocker Melanie Meister and junior outside hitter Tiana Costanzo are the Hawkeye captains this season.

The Assistant Coaches ? Dr. Mashallah (Farokh) Farokhmanesh and Chad Hanson will serve as assistants to Head Coach Cindy Fredrick again this season. Farokh, the associate head coach, is the husband of Coach Fredrick.

Welcome Aboard ? The Hawkeye coaching staff has a new addition this year with DeAnn Woodin joining up as the programs first Director of Volleyball Operations.

Woodin will work closely with the Hawkeye volleyball staff, helping coordinate and carry out the day-to-day activities in the program.

She joins the staff after a successful run as the head coach at Kirkwood Community College. In her two seasons at the helm, she led Kirkwood to a 81-25 record, two undefeated conference seasons and the school’s first-ever NJCAA Division II National Championship in 2003.