Hawkeyes Hit The Big Ten Road

Oct. 16, 2007

IOWA CITY – This Week ? The Hawkeyes hit the road for a pair of Big Ten matches this weekend. Iowa will face Michigan State in East Lansing, MI, Friday at 5:30 p.m. (CDT). The Hawkeyes will then travel to Evanston, IL, for a matchup at Northwestern. Match time is set for 7 p.m. Saturday.

Hawkeyes on the Air ? Iowa’s match at Northwestern Saturday night at 7 p.m. will be broadcast live on AM-800 KXIC. Brian Wilson will handle the play-by-play call.

Hawkeyes on the Web ? Fans of the Hawkeyes can follow all the action this weekend at hawkeyesports.com.

Live audio featuring the voice of Iowa volleyball Brian Wilson along with Gametracker can be found on the volleyball schedule page of hawkeyesports.com.

In addition, live video of Friday’s match at Northwestern will be available at nusports.com.

Record Setting Night ? The Hawkeyes played in front of a record 2,191 fans Saturday night against Wisconsin. The record crowd packed North Carver for “Attacking Breast Cancer” night. The previous record of 1,690 fans was set last season against Iowa State.

The UI Department of Athletics pledged to send $1 for every fan over 1,000 in attendance to the Holden Cancer Research Center, or a total of $1,191. Four pink volleyballs used during warm-ups along with junior Emily Hiza’s pink libero jersey are still available for auction on hawkeyesports.com. The bidding will close at 3 p.m. Wednesday.

As of Monday, a total of $675 had already been raised through the auction, including a $300 bid for the libero jersey.

Illinois Takes Down Iowa ? The Hawkeyes were defeated by Illinois, 3-0 Friday night at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Game one saw nine ties before Illinois used a small 3-0 run to take a 20-17 lead. The Fighting Illini stretched their lead to 27-22 before the Hawkeyes took advantage of kills by Kremer and sophomore Megan Schipper along with two Illinois errors to make the score 27-26. Illinois finished on another 3-0 run to finish the game with a 30-26 win.

Iowa jumped out to a lead in game two and maintained the advantage until Illinois tied the game at 17. The teams traded points with ties at 18, 20 and 21 before the Fighting Illini went on a 4-1 run to take a 25-22 lead. The Hawkeyes used back-to-back blocks from Kremer along with a Smale kill to tie the game at 25. The game saw another tie at 26 before Illinois went on a 3-0 run to bring up game point at 29-26. Iowa fought back with a kill from freshman Megan Eskew and a block from Eskew and fellow freshman Aimee Huffman for a 29-28 score, but an Illinois kill ended game two, 30-28.

Iowa battled back to tie game three at four after Illinois took an early lead. The game remained close with ties at five, six, seven, eight, 10 and 11 before the Fighting Illini took a slim 14-11 advantage. Iowa battled back to bring the game within one at 14-13, but a solid 7-1 surge by Illinois made the score 21-14. Illinois never looked back, increasing its lead to 25-19. Iowa forced Illinois to take a timeout after bringing the score to 26-23 and the Fighting Illini responded with four points in the next five rallies for the win.

Hard-Fought Match Against No. 9 Badgers ? Iowa dropped a tough, four-game match against Wisconsin Saturday night.

Junior Kiley Fister led the team with 45 assists and junior Emily Hiza led the Hawkeye defense with 26 digs. Iowa out-blocked the Badgers, 14-11.5, marking the fifth-consecutive match the Hawkeyes have recorded more blocks than their opponent.

Iowa started game one strong, sprinting out to a 10-5 lead. The Hawkeyes stretched the advantage to 15-10 before the Badgers forced a tie at 16. The teams traded points, with ties at 18, 19, 21 and 22 before Wisconsin re-gained a 23-22 advantage it never surrendered. The Badgers brought up game point at 29-24, but four-straight Hawkeye points forced Wisconsin to take a timeout. The Badgers were able to record a kill after the break to seal a win, 30-28.

The Hawkeyes took an early 5-4 lead in game two and never trailed. Iowa used kills from Kremer and Smale along with a Christina Meister service ace to take a 14-9 lead, forcing a Badger timeout. Wisconsin then scored seven points in the next 12 rallies to bring the score to 18-17, forcing Iowa to use a timeout. A small 5-2 run by Iowa gave the Hawkeyes a 23-19 lead and they were able to extend the score to 27-24. A Huffman kill gave Iowa 28 points and back-to-back Wisconsin errors evened the match score at one game a piece.

Wisconsin became the aggressor in game three, storming out to a 5-0 lead, but Iowa responded with an 8-3 run to tie the game at eight. The game stayed within three points, with ties at 18, 19, 20 and 23. The Badgers used an Iowa attack error to take the lead for good at 24-23, but didn’t win the game without an Iowa comeback. The Hawkeyes kept the game within three points and came close to tying the game when a Badger error made the count 28-27, but two-straight Badgers kills gave them a narrow 30-27 win.

The Badgers never trailed in game four, winning 30-21. Iowa kept it close for the majority of the game, but couldn’t nudge ahead. The Badgers took an 11-6 lead before Iowa used kills from Huffman and Smale along with two Badger errors later in the game for a 15-13 score. That was the closest Iowa would get, as Wisconsin went on an 8-4 surge for a 23-16 lead and eventually closed out the game for the match win.

Scouting Michigan State ? The Michigan State Spartans are 11-9 overall and 2-6 in Big Ten play.

Katie Johnson leads the Spartan attack and ranks eighth in the Big Ten with 282 kills (4.15 kills per game). Ashley Schatzle is ninth in the Big Ten with 281 kills while three other players have triple-digit kills.

Lauren O’Reilly is averaging 12.55 assists per game (866 total), which ranks fourth in the conference. O’Reilly is also sixth in service aces with 0.38 per game (26 total).

Schatzle leads the team with 197 digs (2.90 per game) while Jenilee Rathje has a team-best 81 blocks (seven solo, 74 assists, 1.19 blocks per game).

The Spartans are coached by Cathy George. Iowa trails in the all-time series, 30-22.

Scouting Northwestern ? The Northwestern Wildcats are 10-9 overall and 1-7 in conference action.

Brittney Aldridge ranks fifth in the Big Ten with a .380 hitting percentage while Lindsey Anderson has a team-high 243 kills.

Elyse Glab is averaging 12.78 assists per game (626 total), which is good enough for third in the Big Ten.

Kate Nobilio ranks second in the Big Ten with 5.82 digs per game (378 total). Chelsy Hyser leads the team with 76 total blocks (13 solo, 63 assists, 1.15 blocks per game).

The Wildcats are coached by Keylor Chan. Iowa trails in the all-time series, 30-23-1.

Hawkeyes on the Block ? Iowa has out-blocked 14 of its 19 opponents this season, including the last five teams. Five of the 14 opponents were also ranked (BYU, LSU, Michigan, Penn State and Wisconsin).

Junior Laura Kremer leads the blocking attack with 102 total blocks (19 solo, 83 assists, 1.42 blocks per game). Freshman Aimee Huffman has 60 total blocks while sophomore Megan Schipper has 45.

Big Numbers on the Weekend ? Iowa had three players put up some big numbers over the weekend.

Freshman Aimee Huffman had 10 total blocks against Illinois and also hit at a .308 clip.

Junior Laura Kremer added 18 kills with a .385 hitting percentage and 10 total blocks against Wisconsin. Junior Catherine Smale added 14 kills while junior Emily Hiza chipped in 26 digs.

Iowa Ranks High in Attendance ? Iowa’s average home attendance of 1,069 fans is the 32nd-highest average attendance in the nation. In addition, Iowa’s record crowd of 2,191 fans against Wisconsin is the 85th-largest crowd in the country so far in 2007.

Hawkeyes In Big Ten Stats ? Juniors Laura Kremer, Emily Hiza and Kiley Fister each rank in the top 10 of different Big Ten statistical categories.

Kremer is averaging 1.42 blocks per game (102 total), which is fifth-best in the conference. Hiza is seventh in the Big Ten in digs with 4.43 per game (283 total).

In Big Ten games only, Hiza ranks fourth in digs with 4.73 per game (142 total). Kremer is fifth in blocks with 1.50 per game (45 total), while Fister is 10th in assists with 9.73 per game (292 total).

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 (3,035). She needs only 118 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 319 so far in 2007 to move her into fifth place (1,336). She needs only 47 more digs to pass Kari Hamel, who is in fourth place (1,383).

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.

Walters Undergoes Surgery ? Redshirt freshman Becky Walters underwent successful surgery to repair her injured knee, October 4.

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).

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.

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