Aug. 25, 2008
This Week ? The University of Iowa volleyball team opens the 2008 season on the road at the Hampton Inn Bama Bash, hosted by the University of Alabama. The Hawkeyes will face Nicholls State in their first match Friday at 4:30 p.m. Iowa will play two matches Saturday, facing Western Kentucky at 11 a.m. and host-school Alabama at 7 p.m.
Hawkeyes on the Web ? Fans can follow Hawkeye volleyball on hawkeyesports.com, where Gametracker, live audio and video will be available throughout the season.
Live audio coverage will begin Sept. 12-13 at the Iowa State Tournament and will be available for the remainder of matches. Live streaming video can be found on hawkeyesports.com for all 13 home matches. Gametracker will be available for all 13 home matches and for select road matches. Check hawkeyesports.com for live stats availability.
Audio, video and Gametracker links can be found on the volleyball schedule page of hawkeyesports.com.
New Rules For `08 ? The NCAA has implemented some new rules that will go into effect for the 2008 season that reflect international volleyball rules.
The term “game” has been changed to “set.” Matches will still be the best of five “sets.”
The first four “sets” will also be played to 25 points instead of 30 points. The fifth set will still be played to 15 points.
Teams will also be limited to 12 substitutions per “set.”
New Era at Iowa ? Head Coach Sharon Dingman will coach her first match in Black and Gold this weekend. Dingman was hired as the eighth coach in volleyball history March 21, 2008.
Dingman comes to Iowa from Illinois State, where she served as head coach from 2000-07. Dingman led the Redbirds to the NCAA Tournament last season and she helped Illinois State produce winning seasons in seven of its last eight seasons.
Dingman’s assistant coaches are Chris Gaskill and Jason Allen. Gaskill served as an assistant under Dingman last season at Illinois State while Allen recently spent one year as the 16U Head Coach for the Texas Tornadoes club team, which is considered one of the best volleyball clubs in the country.
Angie Mlinar is in her first season as the Director of Volleyball Operations. She came to Iowa City after serving as the Director of Volleyball Operations at Alabama for two seasons.
Scouting Nicholls State ? The Nicholls State Colonels return seven players from last year’s squad that went 8-24 overall and 2-14 in Southland Conference play.
The Colonels return their libero (Enjoli Ford), setter (Amy Whitehead) and seniors on both the outside (Mallory McInnis) and in the middle (Chelsey Adams).
This will be the first meeting between the two teams.
Scouting Western Kentucky ? The Western Kentuck Lady Toppers are receiving votes in the CBS College Sports Network/AVCA Disivion I Coaches Top 25 Preseason poll.
Western Kentucky became the first ever Sun Belt team to receive an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament last season after going 27-9 and reaching the Sun Belt Tournament championship game. The Lady Toppers return three-time all-American middle blocker Megan Argabright along with four other starters.
Iowa leads the all-time series, 1-0.
Scouting Alabama ? The Alabama Crimson Tide are coming off their third-straight NCAA Tournament appearance after receiving an at-large bid last season.
Alabama, who finished 15-15 overall and 12-8 in the Southeastern Conference, return nine letterwinners and have an incoming class that was rated in the top 30 by PrepVolleyball.com.
Iowa trails in the all-time series, 0-1.
Tough Schedule in `08 ? The Hawkeyes will face five teams ranked in the CBS College Sports Network/AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25 preseason poll. Four additional teams are also listed as receiving votes. Iowa will also square off against 10 teams that qualified for the NCAA Tournament in 2007.
Opponents ranked include Penn State (No. 1), Wisconsin (No. 13), Minnesota (No. 16), Iowa State (No. 18) and Purdue (No. 25). Opponents receiving votes are Michigan, Michigan State, Illinois and Western Kentucky.
The 10 teams who played in the NCAA Tournament last year are Western Kentucky, Alabama, Iowa State, Xavier, Minnesota, Purdue, Wisconsin, Michigan, Michigan State and Penn State, who also won the 2007 Big Ten and NCAA championship.
Loads of Returning Talent ? The 2008 Hawkeyes return all six starters and 13 letterwinners from last year’s squad, including all statistical leaders from the previous season.
Junior Megan Schipper led the team in kills (309) while redshirt sophomore Becky Walters had a team-high .265 attack percentage. Senior Kiley Fister amassed a team-best 918 assists and 27 service aces. Senior Emily Hiza returns after leading the team with 493 digs while senior Laura Kremer was the team’s leading blocker, with 140 total blocks.
Climbing the Records Ladder ? Below is a list of where current Hawkeyes rank in different career school records. The number in parenthsees is the next place.
Assists, 3,404, 4th, (3rd, 4,128)
Service Aces, 83, T-14th, (13th, 86)
Kills, 935, 15th, (14th, 1,000)
Digs, 797 , 20th, (19th, 804)
Attack Percentage, .265, 2nd, (1st, .276)
Digs, 1,510, 4th, (3rd, 1,536)
Hilgenberg Transfers to Iowa ? Sophomore setter Mara Hilgenberg transferred to the University of Iowa from Indiana University this summer.
The Lake Forest, IL, native played in all 117 sets for the Hoosiers as freshman in 2007. She led the team with 1,402 assists, which is the sixth highest single-season total in Indiana history.
Welcome to Iowa City ? The Hawkeyes have four incoming freshmen on this year’s roster.