Hawkeyes To Host Two Top 15 Teams This Week

Sept. 24, 2007

IOWA CITY – This Week ? The University of Iowa volleyball team welcomes a pair of top 15 team to Carver-Hawkeye Arena this week. Iowa will host No. 12 Minnesota Wednesday and No. 11 Michigan Friday. Both matches are slated for a 7 p.m. start.

Minnesota Match on Big Ten Network ? Wednesday’s match against the 12th-ranked Golden Gophers will be televised live on the Big Ten Network. Dave Loane and Danielle Pflum will call the action inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Hawkeyes on the Web ? Fans who can’t make it to North Carver this weekend can follow the action on hawkeyesports.com, where a live video broadcast along with Gametracker will be available.

Live video complete with play-by-play from the voice of the Hawkeyes Brian Wilson can be found on the volleyball schedule page of hawkeyesports.com. Gametracker can also be found on the schedule page of hawkeyesports.com.

Live audio will be available for all 31 matches this fall while live video will be available for all of Iowa’s home matches. All Big Ten matches will require fans to pay a $9.95 per month subscription fee.

This Weekend’s Promotions ? Wednesday’s match against No. 12 Minnesota will be the annual Miracle Match presented by the Children’s Miracle Network to benefit the Children’s Hospital of Iowa.

Friday’s match is “You Never Know” night at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Prizes will be given to the loudest fans at random points of the match.

Tough Way To Start ? The Hawkeyes opened Big Ten play with a tough, 3-2 loss against Indiana. Iowa followed with a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Purdue.

Heartbreaker Against the Hoosiers ? Iowa was defeated by Indiana, 3-2 (31-29, 30-23, 21-30, 29-31, 13-15) last Friday to open Big Ten play.

The Hawkeyes battled through game one to earn a 31-29 win. The game remained within two points until Iowa put together a 10-4 run to take a 20-14 lead. Indiana responded later in the game with its own 9-4 run to even the game at 26-26. The teams traded points to tie the game at 27, 28 and 29 until the Hawkeyes used a Laura Kremer kill and an Indiana attack error to get the win.

Iowa stretched its lead in game two to 19-14 after a 7-7 tie and never looked back. The Hawkeyes had game point at 29-20, but the Hoosiers recorded three points to bring the score to 29-23. Vitali blasted a kill to give Iowa a 2-0 lead heading into the locker rooms.

Indiana started game three with a 22-9 run to take a commanding lead and was able to put Iowa away, 30-21.

The Hawkeyes fought to seal the match in game four, but fell 31-29. Iowa came within one point at 11-10, but Indiana fought off many Hawkeye comebacks in the game.

Iowa scored first in game five, but Indiana quickly responded to the knot the score at one. The game saw ties at two, three and four points a piece before Iowa took an 8-5 lead. The Hawkeyes increased their advantage to 10-7, before a quick 3-0 Hoosier run tied the game for the fifth time at 10. The teams went back-and-forth with ties at 11, 12 and 13 before two Indiana kills ended the match.

Iowa Falls to Purdue ? The Hawkeyes were defeated by Purdue, 3-0 (20-30, 24-30, 21-30) Saturday night.

Iowa had a 5-2 lead in game one, but Purdue tied the game at five. The game was tied at six, seven, eight and nine before the Boilermakers took the lead for good at 10-9.

Purdue led for the duration of game two, winning 30-24. Iowa battled throughout the game, but the Boilermakers spoiled any chances of a Hawkeye comeback. Wessels recorded five of her 11 kills in game two, including one to bring the game within three points. Purdue followed with a 5-0 run to put the game out of reach.

Iowa started game three with a 5-0 run, but Purdue eventually tied the game at eight and nine. The Boilermakers took a 10-9 lead and never trailed, stretching its lead to 17-11. The Hawkeyes fought back to within three at 21-18 with a Wessels service ace, but a Purdue kill and an Iowa attacking error gave the Boilermakers a 23-18 advantage.

Scouting No. 12 Minnesota ? The Minnesota Golden Gophers are 9-3 overall and 2-0 in Big Ten play. All three of Minnesota’s losses came to ranked teams (No. 23 Ohio, No. 2 Stanford and No. 15 California).

Brook Dieter leads the Golden Gopher attack with 188 kills. Kyla Roehrig has 149 kills, Jessy Jones has 110 kills and Lauren Gibbemeyer has 104 kills.

Rachel Hartmann is Minnesota’s primary setter with 525 assists. Christine Tan leads the team with 170 digs while Jones leads the Big Ten with 67 blocks (14 solo, 53 assists).

The Golden Gophers are coached by Mike Hebert. Iowa trails the all-time series, 49-12.

Scouting No. 11 Michigan ? The Michigan Wolverines are 13-1 overall and 1-1 in Big Ten action. The Wolverines started the season with a 13-match winning streak, but suffered their first loss of the season against No. 9 Wisconsin last weekend.

Katie Bruzdzinski has 215 kills to lead the Wolverine attack. Beth Karpiak has 170 kills with a .445 attack percentage. Three other Wolverines have reached triple-digit kills.

Lexi Zimmerman leads the Big Ten in assists with 678 (13.29 assists per game) and service aces with 29. Stesha Selsky leads the conference in digs with 337 (6.61 digs per game) while Karpiak has a team-high with 55 blocks (six solo, 49 assists).

Michigan is coached by Mark Rosen. Iowa trails the all-time series, 25-22.

Injured Hawkeyes ? Redshirt freshman Becky Walters and sophomore Megan Schipper are both sustained injuries last weekend. Schipper was injured in practice September 20 while Walters suffered her injury during Iowa’s match against Indiana September 21.

Schipper is listed as day-to-day while Walters is out indefinetely.

Climbing the Records Ladder ? Juniors Emily Hiza and Kiley Fister are making their mark on the Iowa volleyball records books.

Fister ranks fifth in career assists with 2,805. She needs 348 more assists to move past Barb Zvonek, who is currently fourth (3,153).

Hiza started the season ranked 12th in career digs, but has tallied 218 so far in 2007 to move her into sixth place with 1,235. She needs just 44 more digs to move into fifth place, passing Jennifer Webb, who had 1,279 digs in her career.

Tough Against Ranked Opponents ? Iowa has faced two ranked opponents this season (No. 17 BYU and No. 21 LSU) and took both teams to five games.

The Hawkeyes opened the season by winning two games against BYU before eventually falling in five games. Iowa won the first game against LSU, but dropped the next two. The Hawkeyes dominated game four (30-19), but fell in an exciting game five (17-19).

Iowa Ranks High in Attendance ? Iowa’s average home attendance of 963 fans is the 26th-highest average attendance in the nation. The Hawkeyes have had seven home matches, with a season-high attendance of 1,584 fans at the season opener against BYU. The BYU crowd was also the second-largest crowd in Iowa volleyball history.

Reunion at Carver ? Iowa junior Catherine Smale and Minnesota junior Rachel Hartmann are both from St. Charles, IL, and attended Rosary High School. They helped Rosary win its first ever conference championship as seniors en route to a No. 42 national ranking. Smale holds three school records while Hartmann holds one.

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