Oct. 2, 2007
IOWA CITY – This Week ? The University of Iowa volleyball team hits the road for the first time in conference play this weekend. The Hawkeyes travel to University Park, PA, to face No. 3 Penn State Friday. Iowa then travels to Columbus, OH, to face Ohio State. Both matches start at 6 p.m. central time.
Hawkeyes on the Web ? Fans have plenty of options when it comes to following the Hawkeyes this weekend.
Live audio will be available for both matches featuring the voice of Iowa volleyball Brian Wilson on the All-Access page of hawkeyesports.com. The audio broadcast does require a $9.95 per month subscription.
Gametracker will be available for the Penn State match on the volleyball schedule page of hawkeyesports.com while a free, live video feed can be found at gopsusports.com.
Live stats can also be found for the Ohio State match at ohiostatebuckeyes.com.
Upset In Iowa City! ? The Hawkeyes used a thrilling three-game comeback to upset No. 11 Michigan, 3-2 last Friday in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Iowa fell behind, 2-0, after Michigan escaped with two close wins (28-30, 29-31), but put together a furious comeback that gave Iowa one of its biggest wins in school history.
The Hawkeyes took an early 8-4 lead in game three, but Michigan tied the game at 12. The game remained close until another tie at 22. The Hawkeyes used a 6-1 run to take a 28-23 lead, but Michigan responded with three points to come within two at 28-26. Back-to-back kills from Laura Kremer and Kiley Fister brought the match score to 2-1 after a 30-26 win.
Game four saw Michigan take an early 12-9 lead before the Hawkeyes forced a tie at 16. The teams traded points until Michigan took a 25-21 lead, but a 4-0 Iowa run tied the score at 25. After another tie at 28, the Hawkeyes forced a Wolverine attack error and a Fister kill forced game five.
Iowa took an early 3-2 lead in the final game and never trailed. Michigan managed to tie the game at four and five, but Kremer and Fister each tallied kills to keep the advantage in favor of Iowa.
The Hawkeyes took advantage of three Wolverine ball handling errors to help seal the upset. Iowa took a 10-7 lead off the first error and a Stacy Vitali kill made the score 11-7. Megan Schipper recorded a kill followed by a Wolverine error to give Iowa a 13-8 advantage. Michigan’s second ball handling error of the game brought up match point and the third error gave Iowa the thrilling victory.
Close Against the Golden Gophers ? Iowa lost a close, three-game match against No. 12 Minnesota last Wednesday.
Minnesota went on a 5-0 run to take an 8-4 lead in game one and never trailed after. Iowa came within one point at 10-9 after a Megan Eskew ace, but another 6-2 Golden Gopher run gave them a 15-11 advantage. The Hawkeyes battled back once again within one point at 20-19, but couldn’t knot the score as Minnesota eventually took a 24-19 lead. The Golden Gophers maintained their lead to take a 1-0 match lead.
The Hawkeyes took an early 2-0 lead in game two, but Minnesota tied the score at two and three before taking the lead for good at 4-3. Minnesota went on a 10-1 run later in the game to take a 21-11 lead and finished the match on a 9-6 run to win game two, 30-17, as the teams headed to the locker room.
Iowa battled through game three, but couldn’t get the win, falling 32-30. Minnesota stormed out to an early 7-3 lead and stretched the advantage to 13-9, but the Hawkeyes fought back to eventually tie the game at 23. The Hawkeyes tied the score three more times at 24, 26, 27 and eventually took a 28-27 lead off a Catherine Smale kill. The Golden Gophers tied the score once again at 28 and brought up match point on the next rally at 29-28, but the Hawkeyes used a Laura Kremer kill to knot the score at 29. Minnesota had its second match point at 30-29, but Schipper smacked a kill for a tie at 30. Two-straight Minnesota kills, however, silenced the Hawkeye comeback and sealed the win on the next two rallies.
Scouting Penn State ? The third-ranked Penn State Nittany Lions are 12-2 overall and 4-0 in the Big Ten. Penn State’s only losses came to No. 1 Nebraska (3-0) and No. 2 Stanford (3-2). Four of Penn State’s wins have come over ranked opponents (No. 4 Texas twice, No. 18 Cal Poly and No. 24 St. John’s). As a team, Penn State ranks first in the Big Ten in hitting percentage (.337), kills (807, 16.81 per game) and blocks (183, 3.81 per game). They rank second in assists (735, 15.31 per game) and opponent hitting percentage (.125).
Penn State has the top three hitters in terms of percentage in the Big Ten. Christa Harmotto tops the conference with a .498 percentage, Melissa Walbridge is second with a .447 percentage and Blair Brown ranks third with a .402 percentage. Nicole Fawcett ranks third in kills with 4.59 per game (211 total), while Megan Hodge is fourth with 4.48 per game (215 total).
Harmotto also has the third-highest block total in the Big Ten with 75 total (1.56 per game). Roberta Holehouse leads the team with 166 digs and Alisha Glass is the team’s primary setter with 470 assists.
The Nittany Lions are coached by Russ Rose. Iowa has never beat Penn State, with the Nittany Lions holding a 33-0 advantage over the Hawkeyes.
Scouting Ohio State ? The Ohio State Buckeyes are 7-6 overall and 1-3 in conference play.
Danielle Meyer leads the team with 183 kills and her 4.16 kills per game average is eighth-best in the Big Ten. Kristen Dozier’s .318 hitting percentage also ranks 10th in the conference.
Betsy Hone leads the team with 382 assists (10.61 per game) while Meyer has a team-high 60 blocks (five solo, 55 assists), which ranks fourth in the Big Ten. Ami Stevens has a team-best 108 digs with Meyer close behind at 107 digs.
The Buckeyes are coached by Jim Stone, who announced earlier this season he would be retiring after 36 years of coaching, including 25 at Ohio State. Iowa trails the all-time series, 44-8.
It’s Been a While ? Iowa’s win over No. 11 Michigan was the program’s first win over a ranked opponent since 2000. The Hawkeyes defeated No. 20 Michigan State, 3-2 on October 21, 2000. Iowa came back from a two-game deficit to defeat Michigan State, 3-2 as well.
Big Night For Kremer ? Junior Laura Kremer sparked Iowa in its 3-2 win over No. 11 Michigan last Friday. The LaMotte, IA, native recorded career highs with 21 kills and five solo blocks. She finished with 11 total blocks and a .349 hitting percentage.
Kremer tallied 13 of her 21 kills and six of her 11 blocks in the final three games to lead the Hawkeye comeback. She had eight kills with a .667 hitting percentage in game three to start the Iowa rally.
Oh, So Close ? Junior Kiley Fister was just one kill and one dig away from notching her second-career double-double in Friday’s match against Michigan. Fister recorded 54 assists, nine kills and nine digs.
Fister’s first double-double came against UNI as a freshman in 2005. She finished the match with 53 assists, 11 digs and 10 kills.
Putting Up A Wall ? Iowa out-blocked Michigan, 16.5-7 Friday night. The Hawkeyes were led by Laura Kremer, who tallied a career-high five solo blocks along with six block assists. Sophomore Megan Schipper had a career-high three solo blocks with two block assists while four other Hawkeyes had at least two block assists.
Schipper Back on the Court ? Sophomore Megan Schipper returned to Iowa’s lineup against Minnesota Wednesday night after missing the first two Big Ten matches with a knee injury. She recorded 11 kills and two digs against the Golden Gophers and also had 13 kills, three digs and five total blocks in Iowa’s win over No. 11 Michigan.
Walters Out For Season ? Redshirt freshman Becky Walters will miss the rest of the 2007 season after suffering a serious knee injury in Iowa’s match against Indiana September 21.
Walters was leading the team with a .265 hitting percentage and also had 113 kills along with 52 total blocks (10 solo, 42 assists).
Iowa Ranks High in Attendance ? Iowa’s average home attendance of 934 fans is the 27th-highest average attendance in the nation. The Hawkeyes have had nine 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.
Fister ranks fifth in career assists with 2,891. She needs 262 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 261 so far in 2007 to move her into sixth place with 1,278. She needs just two more digs to move into fifth place, passing Jennifer Webb, who had 1,279 digs in her career.
Kremer is averaging 1.34 blocks per game (78 total), which is fifth-best in the conference. Hiza is sixth in the Big Ten in digs with 4.5 per game (261 total).
In Big Ten games only, Hiza ranks third in digs with 5.25 per game (84 total) while Fister is 10th in assists with 9.25 per game (148 total).
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.
VolleyBlog ? Hawkeye juniors Catherine Smale and Emily Hiza will be blogging throughout the season for hawkeyesports.com. Both student-athletes will be discussing everything from road trips to what it’s like being an athlete at the University of Iowa.
Click HERE for the Big Ten Network home page.