Hawkeyes To Open 2007 Season

Aug. 21, 2007

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IOWA CITY – This Week ? The University of Iowa volleyball team opens the 2007 season hosting the Hawkeye Challenge, Friday-Sunday. The Hawkeyes welcome No. 17 BYU and Marquette to Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

BYU and Marquette will open the Hawkeye Challenge Friday night at 7 p.m. The Hawkeyes open their 2007 campaign against the 17th-ranked Cougars Saturday at 7 p.m. and close the tournament against Marquette Sunday at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $3 for adults and UI students and children 18 and under are admitted free.

Hawkeyes on the Web ? If you can’t make it to North Carver this weekend, you can still follow all of the action on hawkeyesports.com, where a live audio broadcast and Gametracker will be available.

Play-by-play from the voice of Iowa volleyball Brian Wilson along with Gametracker can be found on the volleyball schedule page of hawkeyesports.com. Live audio will be available for all 31 matches this fall.

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.

2006 in Review ? Iowa won 11 of its first 12 matches, including three tournament wins (Bluejay Invitational, Hawkeye-Holiday Inn Challenge and College of Charletson Invitational).

The Hawkeyes struggled through the Big Ten schedule, finishing with a 2-18 conference mark. Nine of those losses were against top 25 teams, including seven against teams ranked 12th or higher.

Overall, the 2006 squad finished with a 14-19 record.

Iowa Tournament History ? The Hawkeyes have hosted 23 tournaments in school history, winning 12 and finishing second in six.

Iowa has a 39-1 record in tournaments they have won and an 18-14 mark in tournaments where they have finished second or lower.

Scouting BYU ? The 17th-ranked BYU Cougars return six starters from last year’s squad that finished 25-6, including all-American outside hitter Chelsea Goodman. The Cougars were also picked as the pre-season favorite to win the Mountain West Conference.

BYU topped Iowa in the two teams’ only other meeting back in 1984.

Scouting Marquette ? The Marquette Golden Eagles were picked to finish fifth in the Big East pre-season poll. Kimberly Todd was a unanimous pre-season all-Big East selection after being named first team all-Big East last season. Todd averaged 4.81 kills per game in 2006.

Marquette defeated Iowa in the only previous meeting between the two teams in 2005.

Tough Schedule ? Six of Iowa’s opponents are ranked in the CSTV/AVCA pre-season Top 25, with three other teams receiving votes. Five of the six ranked teams are from the Big Ten.

Penn State (3rd), Minnesota (9th), Wisconsin (11), Purdue (13), Ohio State (16) and BYU (17th) all appear in the preseason poll. Iowa State, Michigan and Michigan State are receiving votes.

Iowa Tough in Openers Under Fredrick ? Iowa is 3-0 in season opening games under Head Coach Cindy Fredrick. Iowa defeated Wright State in 2004, UW-Milwaukee in 2005 and Drake in 2006.

Current Hawkeyes in the Record Books ? Three current players are attempting to move up the Hawkeye record books.

Senior Stacy Vitali ranks second in attacking percentage at .254, just .22 points behind first place Jen Barcus. Junior Kiley Fister is currently fifth on the all-time assist list with 2,486. Junior Emily Hiza’s 1,017 digs is good for 12th all-time and is just 59 behind Ellen Mullarky for 11th place. Junior Catherine Smale starts the season with 807 kills which puts her 17th on the career kills list. Vitali also ranks 20th on that list with 701 kills.

Walters Ready ? Redshirt freshman Becky Walters is ready to take the court after sitting out her freshman season.

Walters, a native of Parkersburg, IA, looks to have an immediate impact at the middle blocker position for the Hawkeyes this fall.

Welcome to Iowa City ? Coach Fredrick welcomes six freshmen to her squad this season. Those freshmen include Katie Kennedy, Samantha Brannigan, Aimee Huffman, Megan Eskew, Signe Mueller and Katie Wessels.

Prep All-Americans ? Two of Iowa’s freshmen were named PrepVolleyball.com high school all-Americans. Katie Kennedy and Aimee Huffman both were named all-Americans before coming to Iowa.

Iron Women ? Juniors Kiley Fister and Emily Hiza each started all 33 matches and played in all 116 games last season. Junior Catherine Smale played in 32 matches and 116 games.

Staying Home ? Seven of the 14 players on the Hawkeye roster are from the state of Iowa.

Those players are Laura Kremer (LaMotte), Christina Meister (West Des Moines), Katie Kennedy (Iowa City), Becky Walters (Parkersburg), Megan Schipper (Aplington), Signe Mueller (Iowa City) and Katie Wessels (Manchester).

Walters and Schipper both attended Aplington-Parkersburg High School while Kennedy and Mueller both prepped at Iowa City High School.

St. Charles Connection ? Juniors Catherine Smale, Kiley Fister and Stacy Vitali all hail from St. Charles, IL, but didn’t attend the same high school.

Smale attended Rosary, Fister went to St. Francis and Vitali prepped at St. Charles East.

Rising Attendance in 2006 ? The Hawkeyes saw two school attendance records fall last season.

Iowa averaged 1,008 fans which broke the single-season average attendance record. Fredrick’s squad also drew 1,690 fans to the Iowa State match, which shattered the single-season attendance record.

The Hawkeyes saw the top seven crowds of all-time in Carver-Hawkeye Arena last season. Those crowds are listed below.

1. 1,690 vs. Iowa State (8/26/06)
2. 1,432 vs. Illinois (11/3/06)
3. 1,424 vs. Ohio State (9/23/06)
4. 1,339 vs. Penn State (9/22/06)
5. 1,312 vs. Northwestern (11/4/06)
6. 1,251 vs. Minnesota (10/20/06)
7. 1,196 vs. Wisconsin (10/21/06)

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.

Katie McGuine is in her second season as the Director of Volleyball Operations.