Iowa To Host Hawkeye-Holiday Inn Challenge

Sept. 16, 2008

IOWA CITY – This Week ? Head Coach Sharon Dingman will make her home debut this weekend as the University of Iowa volleyball team hosts the Hawkeye-Holiday Inn Challenge. The Hawkeyes will face Portland Friday (7 p.m.) before a doubleheader Saturday against DePaul (12:30 p.m.) and Tulsa (7 p.m.). Tickets are $3 for adults, $2 for groups of 15 or more and children 18 and under along with University of Iowa students are free.

Hawkeyes on the Web ? Fans can follow Hawkeye volleyball on, where Gametracker, live audio and video will be available throughout the season.

Live audio coverage will begin Saturday and will be available for the remainder of matches. Live streaming video can be found on for all 13 home matches. Gametracker will be available for all 13 home matches and for select road matches. Check for live stats availability.

Audio, video and Gametracker links can be found on the volleyball schedule page of

Scouting Portland ? The Portland Pilots are 4-7 and play at Oregon Tuesday night before coming to Iowa City.

Ashley Grayson leads the team with 118 kills while Marissa Plummer has 54 kills with a .357 attack percentage. Kaylyn Jones has a team-best 334 assists while Jessica Clemens has 107 digs. Jennifer Sheedy is the team’s best blocker with 26 total.

This is the first meeting between the two teams.

Scouting DePaul ? The DePaul Blue Demons are 1-7. Iowa and DePaul share one common opponent in Denver. The Blue Demons were defeated in four sets against the Pioneers while Iowa dropped a three-set match.

Sarah Cullen has a team-high 107 kills while Jacie Fiedler has 103 kills with a team-best .332 attack percentage. Christy Landschoot has 320 assists while Katherine Knutson has 97 digs. Fiedler also leads the team with 22 total blocks while Kate Letcher is close behind with 20.

Iowa leads the all-time series, 4-2. Iowa won the last meeting in three sets during the 1998 season.

Scouting Xavier ? The Tulsa Golden Hurricane are 10-1 and travel to SMU Tuesday night before traveling to Iowa City.

Jennifer Eichler leads the team with 151 kills while Hannah Stout has a team-best .418 attack percentage. Rachel Vukson has 254 assists and Jessie Ayers is second on the team with 199. Malorey Grove paces the team with 143 digs while Julia Kenealy has collected 46 blocks.

This is the first meeting between the two teams.

Iowa Goes 2-1 in Ames ? Iowa rebounded after a tough loss to Iowa State, knocking off Xavier and Drake to finish the Iowa State Tournament with a 2-1 record.

The Hawkeyes took Iowa State, who is receiving votes in the AVCA Top 25 poll, to the limit in all three sets, but couldn’t come away with a win (26-28, 25-27, 24-26). Junior Megan Schipper led the team with 11 kills while senior Catherine Smale tallied seven.

Iowa then knocked off Xavier, who participated in last year’s NCAA Tournament, in four sets. Iowa couldn’t come away with a win in the first frame (22-25), but looked impressive over the next three, taking the match in dominating fashion (25-11, 25-14, 25-19). The Hawkeyes hit .583 in the second stanza along with .333 in the third and out-blocked the Musketeers, 13-3. Smale and Schipper both had double-doubles, with Smale collecting 17 kills and 14 digs while Schipper added 13 kills and 11 digs.

The Hawkeyes rounded out the weekend with a three-set win over Drake (25-18, 25-11, 25-16). Schipper (11 kills and 13 digs) and Smale (10 kills and 10 digs) once again put up a double-doubles.

Two Hawkeyes Named to all-Tournament Team ? Sophomore Katie Kennedy and senior Emily Hiza were both named to the Iowa State Tournament all-tournament team last weekend.

Kennedy put up impressive numbers all weekend and never hit below .470 in a match. She started the weekend with five kills (.500 attack percentage) along with five block assists against Iowa State. She then tallied eight kills (.471 attack percentage) with a career-high seven block assists in Iowa’s win over Xavier. Kennedy finished with six kills (.500 attack percentage) and two block assists in a victory over Drake.

Hiza, who was also named Libero of the Tournament at the Pioneer Classic last weekend, collected 15 digs against Iowa State and Xavier along with 13 digs against Drake.

Walters Returns to Action ? Redshirt sophomore Becky Walters returned to the court in the second set against Xavier after missing the final 19 matches of 2007 and the first seven matches of 2008 with an ACL injury.

The Parkersburg, IA, native wasted no time in helping the Hawkeyes, recording three kills on five swings against Xavier along with three kills and two block assists against Drake.

As a redshirt freshman in 2007, Walters led the team with a .265 attack percentage, was second on the team with 52 total blocks and third with 113 kills before suffering a torn ACL.

Hilgenberg Boost ? Sophomore Mara Hilgenberg gave the Hawkeyes some extra assists last weekend.

Hilgenberg came off the bench against Xavier and recorded 17 assists. She then started the second match of her Hawkeye career against Drake and collected 16 assists, three digs and one service ace.

Stats Don’t Lie ? If the Hawkeyes are able to record more kills, a higher attack percentage or more assists than their opponents, chances are they will come away with a win.

Iowa is 5-0 when it records more kills, assists and a higher attack percentage than its opponents and 0-4 when the opposite occurs.

Tough Schedule in `08 ? Six Iowa opponents are ranked in the latest AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25 poll.. One additional teams is 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), Minnesota (No. 8), Wisconsin (No. 13), Purdue (No. 20), Illinois (No. 23) and Michigan (No. 25). Iowa State is receiving votes.

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.

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.

Kiley Fister
Assists: 3,714, 4th, (3rd, 4,128)
Service Aces: 87, T-12th, (11th, 99)

Catherine Smale
Kills: 1,047, 14th, (13th, 1,059)
Digs: 874, 17th, (16th, 885)

Becky Walters
Attack Percentage: .271, 2nd, (1st, .276)

Emily Hiza
Digs: 1,605, 3rd, (2nd, 1,632)