Hawkeyes Take Off For South Carolina

Sept. 11, 2006

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This Week ? The University of Iowa volleyball team hits the road this weekend for the College of Charleston Invitational in Charleston, SC.

Iowa will open with Columbia at 3:30 p.m. Friday, then take on Eastern Michigan Saturday at 10 a.m. and finish with the College of Charleston at 5 p.m. All times are central.

Hawkeyes on the Web ? If you can’t make the road trip to South Carolina this weekend, you can still follow all of the action on hawkeyesports.com, where a live audio broadcast and livestats will be available.

Play-by-play from the voice of Iowa volleyball Brian Wilson can be found by clicking on the Hawkeye All-Access link at hawkeyesports.com, then selecting the game you would like to listen to. To check out the livestats, just click on the “gametracker” link on the schedule page.

Web Conference ? Iowa Head Coach Cindy Fredrick will be hosting a weekly “Web Conference” every Tuesday this season.She will address a variety of topics, from the state of the team to that week’s opponents.

Hawkeye fans can get in on the act and ask Coach Fredrick questions of their own by emailing them to AskCoachFredrick@yahoo.com. The coach will answer as many fan questions as possible.

Last Week ? The Hawkeyes (8-1) won their second-straight tournament of the 2006 season, taking the title at the Hawkeye-Holiday Inn Challenge last weekend. Iowa opened with sweeps of Tulane (30-23, 30-22, 30-24) and UMKC (30-17, 30-19, 30-18).

In game one against Tulane, Iowa used a balanced attack to get the sweep.

While no Hawkeye reached double-digits in kills, five players had eight or more. Catherine Smale, Jen Barcus and Melanie Meister each had nine kills, while Allison Smith and Tiana Costanzo had eight apiece.

Setter Kiley Fister recorded 38 assists on the night.

In game one against the Kangaroos, UMKC jumped out to a 1-4 lead in game one before Iowa tied things up with a pair of kills and a tandem block from Barcus and Smith. The Hawkeyes never looked back from that point on, and never trailed again the entire match.

Smale had a great game for the Hawkeyes, knocking down 12 kills on 27 attempts for a .407 attack percentage. The St. Charles, IL, native also had eight digs.

Against Florida-Atlantic, Meister had a career-high 23 kills and hit at a .378 clip. Smale also had a career game, recording personal bests in kills (24) and digs (28).

The Hawkeyes struggled in the first two games, dropping each 30-27. Iowa rebounded after the intermission, fighting off three match points in game three before taking the 39-37 win.

That win gave Iowa all the momentum, and the Black and Gold cruised through game four, leading wire-to-wire. Game five was more of the same, with Iowa never looking back after a Meister kill gave them an 8-7 lead.

All-Tournament Team ? The Hawkeyes had four players on the all-tournament team at last weekend’s Hawkeye-Holiday Inn Challenge. Senior Melanie Meister was named tournament MVP, while sophomore libero Emily Hiza, sophomore outside hitter Catherine Smale and freshman outside hitter Allison Smith were on the all-tournament team.

Hot Start ? At 8-1, the Hawkeyes are off to their best start since 1986, when they started the season 10-1.

Scouting Columbia ? The Columbia Lions are 2-0 on the season.

The Lion’s leading attacker is junior outside hitter Cassie Ligh, who is averaging a team-best 3.62 kills per game and 4.75 digs per game. Sophomore Amalia Viti is second with 3.50 kills per game.

Shannon Hunzicker runs the offense from the setter position, and is averaging 9.88 assists per game.

Columbia is coached by Monica Holmes, who is in her third season. This will be the first meeting between the two teams.

Scouting Eastern Michigan ? The Eastern Michigan Eagles are 3-4 on the year and coming off a weekend away from competition.

Eastern Michigan is strong in the middle, led by middle blockers Lindsay Piccolini and Beck Reenders. Piccolini was a first team all-MAC selection last year, and leads the team with 3.96 kills per game. She also has 1.12 blocks per game. Reenders has 2.92 kills per game and a team-best 1.15 blocks per game.

First team all-MAC setter Kate Suleski is averaging 10.96 assists per game.

The Eagles are coached by Kim Berrington, who is in her 11th season. The all-time series is tied 2-2.

Scouting College of Charleston ? The College of Charleston Cougars are 4-3 on the season and coming off a 3-1 loss against Illinois.

The offense is led by two-time all-Southern Conference middle blocker Tiffany Blaum. Blaum, a native of Dubuque, IA, is averaging 3.50 kills per game and 1.15 blocks per game. Junior outside hitter Deanna Patrick is averaging 3.23 kills per game.

The Cougars are coached by Sherry Dunbar, who is in her fourth season at the helm. This will be the first meeting between the two schools.

Another Weekend, Another Career High ? Sophomore setter Kiley Fister set a new career-high with 73 assists against Florida-Atlantic. She broke her previous high of 70 she set the week before at the Bluejay Invitational (vs. Creighton, 9/2/06).

20/20 Game ? Sophomore Catherine Smale had a career-game against Florida-Atlantic, setting personal bests with 24 kills and 28 digs. Her previous records were 22 kills (twice in 2005) and 22 digs (9/3/05 vs. IUPUI).

This is the second 20/20 game Smale has posted, the other coming against IUPUI last season (22 kills, 22 digs).

Don’t I Know You ? Hawkeye sophomore Laura Gustin will recognize somebody on the College of Charleston bench – her sister Sarah is an assistant coach for the Cougars.

Freshman Impact ? Freshman outside hitter Allison Smith has impressed during the first three weeks of the season and has earned a spot in the starting lineup. The Iowa City native is averaging 1.75 kills per game and has a team-high .372 attack percentage.

Block Party ? Iowa didn’t have a single player average more than a block per game last year. So far this season, both starting middle blockers, Jen Barcus (1.09) and Melanie Meister (1.12), are averaging better than a block per game.

Already No. 6 ? Sophomore setter Kiley Fister is already among the all-time leaders at Iowa in assists. She has 1,675, 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.

Take Me To Your Leader ? Senior middle blocker Melanie Meister and sophomore libero Emily Hiza are the Hawkeye captains this season.