Iowa volleyball makes BTN debut

Sept. 25, 2007


IOWA CITY — The University of Iowa volleyball team will make its first appearance on the Big Ten Network on Wednesday, Sept. 26, when the Hawkeyes host Minnesota. The match begins at 7 p.m., on the North Carver Court.

“I think the whole idea of the Big Ten Network is really exciting for all of us,” said Cindy Fredrick, Iowa head volleyball coach. “It gives a lot of our teams some very good exposure. I think it’s going to be a good tool for all of us in recruiting and a good tool for parents who can’t make it to the game. That entire exposure is a good thing for all of us.”

Iowa enters the match with a record of 8-5 overall and 0-2 in the Big Ten. Minnesota is 8-3, 1-0. The Gophers defeated Purdue 3-0 in their Big Ten opener. Purdue defeated Iowa 3-0 last Saturday in Iowa City. Minnesota is second in the league averaging 3.45 blocks per game and Gopher Jessy Jones is the Big Ten leader with 1.57 blocks per game.

The front line for the Hawkeyes is currently hobbled. Sophomore outside hitter Megan Schipper was injured last week, but could see limited action against Minnesota. Freshman middle blocker Becky Walters went down early in the match against Indiana on Sept. 21 and is not expected to play against Minnesota.

“We are definitely at a disadvantage right now without Megan and Becky,” Fredrick said. “It’s pretty tough when you lose your top two hitters. That is a big, big loss for us.”

Schipper was tops on the team with 136 kills (3.24 per game) and Walters was fourth in kills (113) and second in kills per game (2.63). Walters also led Iowa with 10 solo blocks and has 52 for the season.

“Megan will not be full go,” Fredrick said. “We’ll keep her limited. Becky will have an MRI and she is out.”

When Fredrick needed a spark against Purdue, she turned to walk-on freshman Katie Wessels of Manchester, who came through with 11 kills and two ace serves.

“We needed a little fire and we needed a little enthusiasm,” Fredrick said. “Katie played really well.”

Last season Minnesota defeated the Hawkeyes 30-21, 30-17, 25-30, 30-21.

Click HERE for the Big Ten Network home page.