Iowa Set To Host Top-Ranked Penn State and Indiana

Oct. 7, 2008

IOWA CITY – This Week ? The University of Iowa volleyball team hosts top-ranked Penn State Friday and Indiana Saturday. Both matches will begin at 7 p.m. inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Admission is $3 for adults and free for children 18 and under and UI students.

Attacking Breast Cancer ? Saturday’s match against Indiana will be “Attacking Breast Cancer” night in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Fans are encouraged to wear pink. Those wearing pink can register to win prizes. Pink poms will also be given to the first 500 fans. Senior libero Emily Hiza will be wearing a pink jersey and the team will warm-up with pink volleyballs.

The UI Department of Athletics will also donate $1 from every ticket sold at the door to the Holden Cancer Comprehensive Research Center.

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 be available for the remainder of the season. 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 Penn State ? The No. 1 ranked Penn State Nittany Lions are 16-0 overall and 4-0 in Big Ten play. Penn State has swept every opponent this season and won 48-straight sets. The Nittany Lions are the defending Big Ten and NCAA champion.

Megan Hodge leads the team with 183 kills, while Christa Harmotto has a .528 attack percentage. Alisha Glass has a team-best 599 assists and Roberto Holehouse has 142 digs. Penn State is hitting .403 as a team.

Iowa has never defeated Penn State (0-35). The Nittany Lions swept both matches last season.

Scouting Indiana ? The Indiana Hoosiers are 9-7 overall and 1-3 in Big Ten action. Indiana plays at Minnesota Friday night before traveling to Iowa City.

Erica Short leads the team with 282 kills. Mary Chaudoin has a team-best 354 assists, while Hayley Koetter is close behind at 317. Juli Pierce has a team-high 195 digs with Caitlin Cox at 155.

Iowa trails in the all-time series, 24-31. Indiana won both matches last season.

Tough Road Trip ? Iowa took its first Big Ten road trip last weekend and was defeated by two nationally-ranked opponents. The Hawkeyes lost at No. 18 Purdue (22-25, 23-25, 22-25) and No. 19 Illinois (23-25, 17-25, 25-19, 15-25).

Senior Catherine Smale led the way against Purdue, collecting 13 kills, while junior Megan Schipper tallied a double-double with 12 kills and 12 digs. The Hawkeyes kept all three sets close, but couldn’t come away with a win.

Iowa managed to take a set off the nationally-ranked Fighting Illini, but couldn’t force a decisive fifth-frame. This time Schipper led the team with 11 kills and Smale had 10.

Staying Perfect at Home ? Iowa is starting to build a home court advantage at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

The Hawkeyes are currently a perfect 5-0 in Iowa City. That is the best home record since 2000, when Iowa also started 5-0 at home. The 1998 Hawkeyes have the best start in recent history with a 6-0 start.

Penn State Woes ? Penn State has dominated the series against Iowa, winning 35-straight matches. In fact, Iowa has only taken a total of four sets off the Nitany Lions, most recently in 2003. The Hawkeyes have never forced a five-set match against Penn State.

Hilgenberg to Face Former Team ? Sophomore Mara Hilgenberg will face her former team in Indiana Saturday night. The Lake Forest, IL, native transferred to Iowa this summer after spending her freshman season in Bloomington.

Hilgenberg 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.

Dingman Closing in on Milestone ? Head Coach Sharon Dingman enters the weekend just four wins away from career win No. 350.

Dingman tallied 22 wins in one year at Auburn, 167 wins in eight years at Butler, 147 wins in eight years at Illinois State and 10 wins so far in her first season at Iowa.

Hawkeyes in the Stats ? Iowa currently ranks 47th in the country in attack percentage (.246) and 73rd in kills per set (13.16).

The Hawkeyes are fourth overall in the Big Ten in attack percentage and third in service aces per set (1.30).

Individually, senior Kiley Fister is seventh in assists per set (9.52), senior Emily Hiza is seventh in digs per set (3.76) and senior Catherine Smale is seventh in kills per set (3.50). Junior Megan Schipper ranks eighth in service aces per set (0.29), while Hiza is ninth (0.28).

Tough Schedule in `08 ? Six Iowa opponents are ranked in the latest AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25 poll. 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. 12), Purdue (No. 18), Illinois (No. 19), Wisconsin (No. 21), and Michigan (No. 23).

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 3,918 4th (3rd, 4,128)
Service Aces 90 12th (11th, 99)

Catherine Smale
Kills 1,131 11th (10th, 1,153)
Digs 926 15th (14th, 931)

Becky Walters
Attack Percentage .261 2nd (1st, .276)

Emily Hiza
Digs 1,698 2nd (1st, 1,931)

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