Hawkeyes Come Home for Two

Nov. 7, 2005

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This Week ? The University of Iowa volleyball team returns home this weekend for a pair of Big Ten Conference games against Northwestern and No. 13 Wisconsin. The Hawkeyes will battle the Wildcats Friday at 7 p.m., then take on the Badgers Saturday at 7 p.m.

Hawkeyes on the Small Screen ? In case you missed Iowa’s 2005 television debut last weekend, Comcast SportsNet will replay the Iowa-Michigan State game Tuesday at 1 p.m. Comcast SportsNet is located on channel 44 in Iowa City and channel 640 on DirecTV.

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.

Last Week ? The Hawkeyes dropped a pair of Big Ten games last week, falling at Michigan State in five games Friday (30-28, 26-30, 22-30, 30-27 and 11-15), then losing at Michigan in four games Saturday (24-30, 30-19, 17-30, 24-30).

Game one against Michigan State started as a back-and-forth affair until the Spartans began to pull away and eventually took a 24-17 lead. The Hawkeyes bounced back and rattled off ten-consecutive points to take a 27-24 lead. Iowa closed things out on a kill from Catherine Smale.

In games two and three, Iowa led just once (1-0 in game two), while Michigan State put the Hawkeyes against the wall with a pair of wins.

Iowa rebounded to take game four in dramatic fashion. With the Spartans leading most of the way, the Hawkeyes staged a late rally with and forced a fifth game with the help of a pair of Melanie Meister kills.

In game five, Michigan State led from the outset and raced to a 15-11 win.

Smale had a double-double for the Hawkeyes, recording 18 kills and digs. Meister pounded out 11 kills and gathered nine blocks, while sophomore outside hitter Stacy Vitali had 12 kills.

On defense, freshman libero Emily Hiza had a team-high 26 digs.

In the first game of Saturday’s game, Michigan led from the outset and allowed Iowa a tie just four times – the last coming at 6-6. Iowa remained close through most of the game, before the Wolverines knocked off six-straight points to take a commanding 24-17 lead and coasted to the win.

Game two was a very close contest through the first half, with 13 lead changes leading up to a 16-16 tie. The Hawkeyes then exploded to out-score Michigan 14-3 in the second half and take a 30-19 win.

Michigan led wire-to-wire in game three, out-hitting Iowa .483 to .184 en route to the win.

In game four, the Hawkeyes started strong and took a 14-9 lead on a Lauren Bruckner service ace. The Wolverines came storming back with five straight points to tie things up, then scored five of the next six points to vault into the lead.

Scouting Northwestern ? The Northwestern Wildcats are 14-10 overall with a 5-9 mark in the Big Ten Conference.

The Wildcat offense is led by outside hitter Lindsay Anderson, who has a team-best 311 kills. She is ranked eighth with 3.60 kills per game in Big Ten matches.

Northwestern also boasts a strong duo of middle blockers with junior Julie Purcell and sophomore Brittany Aldridge. Purcell has 234 kills, while Aldridge has 184 kills, 92 blocks and a .324 attack percentage.

The Wildcats use a pair of setters, with Lauren Greenwood recording 599 assists and Stephanie Jurivich 423.

Northwestern leads the all-time series 27-23-1. The Hawkeyes defeated the Wildcats 3-0 earlier this season in Evanston, IL.

Keylor Chan is in his sixth season as head coach.

Scouting Wisconsin ? The Wisconsin Badgers come into the week with an 18-5 record and a 18-5 conference record. They are ranked 13th by the AVCA.

The Badgers lead the Big Ten in blocks (3.60 per game) and have the top two blockers in the conference in Taylor Reineke (11 solo, 128 assist, 1.72 per game) and Sheila Shaw (21 solo, 103 assist, 1.53 per game).

Wisconsin has four players with 200+ kills, led by freshman Audra Jeffers with 272 (3.44 per game). Maria Carlini has 255 (3.15 per game), while all-American middle blocker Sheila Shaw has 224 (2.77 per game).

The Badgers lead the all-time series 34-17-1 and have won 19-consecutive matches against the Hawkeyes. They swept Iowa 3-0 earlier this season in Madison, WI.

Wisconsin is coached by Pete Waite, who is in his seventh year with the Badgers.

Meister Blocks Nine ? Junior middle blocker Melanie Meister had a good game at the net against Michigan, putting up nine blocks (four solo, five assist). That total ties her for the fourth-highest total in a Big Ten game this season. Wisconsin’s Sheila Shaw had the most (13) against Minnesota this season.

For the Love of the Game ? The Hawkeyes have played more games (102) than any other team in the conference this season. Illinois, Michigan State and Indiana have all played 96.

Three Short of a Triple-Double ? Freshman setter Kiley Fister was just three kills short of her second triple-double of the season Saturday against Michigan. She had 46 assists, 14 digs and seven kills.

Earlier this season, Fister had 53 assists, 11 kills and 10 digs against Northern Iowa. She is one of just four players in the Big Ten to get a triple-double this year.

Dig-Dug ? Freshman libero Emily Hiza dug out a career high 26 digs last Friday against Michigan State. The total also ties her with Tiana Costanzo for the team’s season-high. Costanzo dug out 26 against Wisconsin-Milwaukee on August 27.

Twin Killers ? Freshman Catherine Smale and sophomore Stacy Vitali are ranked seventh and ninth, respectively, in kills during conference play. Smale is averaging 3.62 kills per game, while Vitali is averaging 3.56 per game.

Already No. 6 ? Freshman setter Kiley Fister is already among the all-time leaders at Iowa in assists. She has 1,060 so far this season, good for sixth on the Hawkeyes’ all-time list. Jitka Stehnova (2002-03) is in fifth with 2,159.

Janet Moylan (1987-90) is Iowa’s all-time leader with 5,471.

Freshman Hitter ? Freshman outside hitter Catherine Smale leads the team with 368 kills and a 3.61 kills per game average, which is good for seventh in the Big Ten Conference.

This Year ? The Hawkeyes have already bested many numbers from last season’s team. Iowa has more wins (14), Big Ten wins (4), kills (1,453), assists (1,289) and blocks (221.5) that they did last year – and there is still three weeks left in the season.

Ironwomen ? Four Hawkeyes have played in all 102 games this season – Stacy Vitali, Catherine Smale, Kiley Fister and Emily Hiza.

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.