Hawkeyes Hunt Badgers, Gophers

Nov. 13, 2006

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This Week ? The University of Iowa volleyball team (13-13, 2-12) will make their final road trip of the season, traveling to Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Iowa will take on the 10th-ranked Wisconsin Badgers Friday night at 7 p.m., then battle the 12th-ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers Saturday at 7 p.m.

Hawkeyes on the Web ? If you can’t make the road trip 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 Will Marchino and former Hawkeye volleyball star Barb (Willis) Randall 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 dropped a pair of conference road games over the weekend, falling to No. 23 Ohio State (3-0) Friday night, then losing to Penn State (3-0) on Saturday.

In game one against Ohio State, the Buckeyes jumped out to an early 5-1 lead off four kills and a block. Ohio State kept its lead at a safe distance throughout the first half of the game, until Iowa began to claw back into things. A perfect tip from Kiley Fister cut the lead to just three points at 24-21, but Iowa could come no closer and the Buckeyes finished it off with a kill at 30-25.

The Hawkeyes hung tight the whole way in game two, with the lead rarely getting larger than two points for either side. A Megan Schipper kill gave Iowa its final lead at 10-9, but it was short lived after Ohio State rattled off three-straight points. The Hawkeyes remained close the rest of the way, always responding when Ohio State threatened to pull away. Iowa couldn’t get over the top, however, and a service error gave the Buckeyes the win at 30-26.

In game three, Ohio State came flying out of the gates and never looked back. Three-consecutive kills ended things at 30-14.

Against Penn State, the Hawkeyes fell into an early 8-3 hole in game one, then clawed their way back into the game by scoring seven of the next 11 points to cut the lead to four. The run was highlighted by a three-point stretch led by Melanie Meister who got a kill and two blocks.

The Nittany Lions came roaring back after that, quickly re-establishing their lead and cruising to a 30-17 win.

Iowa kept game two close early on, trading points with Penn State and tying things up at 8-8 on a Nittany Lion service error. Penn State turned on the juice after that, outscoring Iowa 22-10 the rest of the game. A Megan Hodge block gave the Nittany Lions the 30-18 win.

Penn State was in control of game three from the outset, with Iowa’s last lead coming at 3-1 and final tie at 5-5. The Nittany Lions stretched their lead to 25-12 before Iowa came back with five of the next seven points. The deficit was too great, however, and a Penn State block ended the final game at 30-20.

Scouting Wisconsin ? The Wisconsin Badgers come into the week with a record of 21-5 and are tied with Minnesota for second place in the Big Ten Conference with a 13-3. The Badgers will battle the Golden Gophers for sole possession of second place Wednesday night in Madison.

As a team, the Badgers are the second-best blocking squad in the Big Ten with 3.46 per game, and are third with 16.29 kills per game.

Individually, the offense is led by freshman Brittney Dolgner, who is averaging 4.09 kills per game. That total is good for 10th in the Big Ten.

Junior setter Jackie Simpson runs the offense and is third in the Big Ten with 13.01 assists per game.

On defense, all-Big Ten middle blocker Taylor Reineke leads the league with 1.68 blocks per game. Her tag-team partner Amy Bladow is sixth in the conference with 1.26 blocks per game.

The Badgers are coached by Pete Waite, who is in his eighth year with at the helm.

Wisconsin leads the all-time series 36-17-1, and has won the last 21 meetings. Earlier this season, the Badgers defeated Iowa (3-1) at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Scouting Minnesota ? The Minnesota Golden Gophers come into the week with a 19-7 overall record and a 13-3 mark in the Big Ten. They will take on Wisconsin this Wednesday in Madison for sole possession of second place.

The Golden Gophers are very strong in the middle, with a pair of talented, 6-3 middle blockers in Meredith Nelson and Jessy Jones. Nelson averages 3.16 kills and 0.91 blocker per game, while Jones averages 2.89 kills and 1.35 blocks per game.

Sophomore outside hitter Kyla Roehrig leads Minnesota’s balanced attack with 3.35 kills per game. She is one of six Gophers averaging more than two kills per game.

On defense, libero Peniata Malama leads the Big Ten with 5.38 digs per game.

Minnesota is coached by Mike Herbert, who is in his 11th year with the Golden Gophers.

Minnesota leads the all-time series 48-12, and has won the last 22 meetings. Earlier this season, the Golden Gophers swept the Hawkeyes 3-0 in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Tough Schedule ? The Hawkeyes have dropped 14-of-the-last-16 matches, but it isn’t as if they are losing to a bunch of stiffs. Seven of Iowa’s losses in that stretch have come at the hands of ranked teams.

Lucky No. 55 ? In her last four matches, sophomore Catherine Smale has exactly 55 kills and 55 digs (3.93 per game).

Meister With the Block ? Senior middle blocker Melanie Meister is averaging a career-best 1.11 blocks per game.

In Big Ten play, the West Des Moines native is ninth in the conference with 1.15 blocks per game.

Barcus Heating Up ? Senior middle blocker Jen Barcus has been playing very well as of late. In the last two weeks, Barcus is averaging 3.86 kills per game with a .375 attack percentage, along with putting up 1.57 blocks per game.

In the Top Five ? Sophomore setter Kiley Fister is already among the all-time leaders at Iowa in assists.

Fister has amassed 2,371 assists, which puts her fifth on the all-time list. She is now behind Barb Zvonek (1995-98), who is in fourth with 3,153

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

Costanzo Into the Top Ten ? Junior Tiana Costanzo moved into 10th on Iowa’s all-time digs list the past weekend with 1,078. The Escondido, CA, native is just 25 digs behind Lisa Dockray (1992-95) for ninth on the list.

Janet Moylan (1987-09) is Iowa’s all-time leader with 1,931.

Attendance Up ? The Hawkeyes have been seeing more faces in Carver-Hawkeye Arena this season. The team is averaging a school-best 983 fans per game, good for 36th in the nation.

The Hawkeyes have drawn more than 1,000 fans seven times this season, after having done that just seven times previously. Iowa has seen the top six crowds of all-time this season and seven of the top nine crowds in school history this year. Iowa drew a school-record 1,690 fans to the Iowa State game on August 26.

Digstown ? As a team, the Hawkeyes are second in the Big Ten with 16.93 digs per game. Michigan leads the way with 17.28 digs per game.

Win Number 400 ? Iowa Head Coach Cindy Fredrick won her 400th career collegiate game on October 6 with a 3-0 (30-20, 30-24, 30-23) win over Indiana.

Coach Fredrick is now 400-292 in her career, with a 36-49 record at the University of Iowa.

Take Me To Your Leader ? Senior middle blocker Melanie Meister and sophomore libero Emily Hiza 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 Katie McGuine joining the team as the Director of Volleyball Operations.

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

McGuine joins the Hawkeyes after serving as the Human Resources Manager at Cardinal of Minnesota, Ltd., in Rochester, MN. She also served as head volleyball coach at Pine Island High School during the 2003 and 2004 seasons. In 2005 and 2006, she was head coach of the 16s Southern Minnesota Volleyball Club in Rochester, MN.