Hawkeyes To Face No. 12 Minnesota and Michigan State

Oct. 13, 2008

IOWA CITY – This Week ? The University of Iowa volleyball team will travel to Minneapolis, MN, Wednesday for a mid-week matchup against No. 12 Minnesota. First serve will be at 7 p.m. inside the Sports Pavilion.

The Hawkeyes return home Saturday to face Michigan State at 7 p.m.

On the Tube ? Wednesday’s match at 12th-ranked Minnesota will be broadcast live in high-definition on the Big Ten Network. Randy Reinehart will call play-by-play and former Ohio State Head Coach Jim Stone will handle color commentary. This is Iowa’s only scheduled appearance on the Big Ten Network this season.

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 be available for the remainder of the season. 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.

Scouting Minnesota ? The 12th-ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers are 15-3 overall and 5-1 in Big Ten play. Minnesota has won five of its last six games, with its only loss coming Saturday to No. 1 Penn State.

Lauren Gibbemeyer leads the team with 215 kills, a .321 attack percentage and 97 total blocks. Brook Dieter has 210 kills. Rachel Hartmann is the team’s primary setter with 689 assists, while Christine Tan has a team-best 340 digs.

Iowa trails in the all-time series, 51-12. Minnesota swept both meetings last season.

Scouting Michigan State ? The Michigan State Spartans are 11-6 overall and tied with Iowa for fifth place in the Big Ten with a 3-3 record. The Spartans play at Minnesota Friday before traveling to Iowa City.

Vanessa King leads the Spartan offense with 189 kills and a .363 attack percentage. King also has a team-high 80 blocks. Natalie Emro is Michigan State’s setter and has 671 assists. Allyson Karaba has a team-best 265 digs.

Iowa trails in the all-time series, 32-22. Michigan State swept both matches last season.

Iowa Wins Thriller Over Indiana ? The Hawkeyes picked up their third Big Ten win of the season Saturday after knocking off Indiana in five sets.

After Iowa claimed the first set, Indiana took the next two frames to come within one set for the victory. The Hawkeyes mounted an exciting comeback, taking the fourth set by three points to force a decisive fifth stanza, and fought back to complete the win.

Senior Catherine Smale and junior Megan Schipper led the Hawkeye attack with 17 kills each. Smale added 12 digs to notch her seventh double-double of the season.

Hawkeyes Fall to Top-Ranked Penn State ? The No. 1 ranked and defending National Champion Penn State Nittany Lions defeated Iowa in three sets Friday night inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Penn State remained undefeated at 17-0 and still has not dropped a set this season (51-straight set wins after Friday’s match).

Senior Catherine Smale had 10 kills, while senior Laura Kremer and sophomore Aimee Huffman had six.

Positives Out of a Loss ? The Hawkeyes played the top-ranked team in the country (Penn State) tough, despite the sweep. Iowa managed to score the second-most points against Penn State this year, netting 58 points throughout the three sets. Hawaii, who is currently ranked No. 9, scored 59 points in the season opener against Penn State.

Iowa is also only the second team nationally and the first Big Ten squad to reach the 20-point plateau against Penn State this season. UCLA netted 22 points in the first set and 21 points in the second in a 3-0 loss Aug. 30.

Off to a Good Start ? Iowa’s three Big Ten wins are the second-most for a Hawkeye team since 2001. The Hawkeyes are also off to their best start in Big Ten play since 2000, when Iowa went 4-2 in its first six conference matches.

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

The Hawkeyes are currently 6-1 in Iowa City. That is the best home record since 2000, when Iowa also started 6-1 at home. The 1992 Hawkeyes have the best home start in recent history at 7-1.

Hawkeyes Rank High in Attendance ? Iowa currently ranks 35th in the country in attendance, averaging 983 fans per match. The Hawkeyes have drawn a total of 6,883 fans for their seven home matches.

Iowa drew 1,701 fans against Penn State Oct. 10, which was the second-largest crowd in school history. That attendance figure is also the 125th largest Division I crowd in 2008. Iowa also had 1,598 people in Carver-Hawkeye Arena against Indiana Oct. 11, which ranks fourth in school history for single-match attendance.

Dingman and Fister Closing in on Milestones ? Head Coach Sharon Dingman enters this week just three 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 11 wins so far in her first season at Iowa.

Senior Kiley Fister currently has 3,975 assists, and is just 25 assists shy of the 4,000 mark.

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), Illinois (No. 17), Wisconsin (No. 19), Purdue (No. 21) and Michigan (No. 22).

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: 3,975 – 4th, (3rd, 4,128)
Service Aces: 92 – 12th, (11th, 99)

Catherine Smale
Kills: 1,158 – 10th, (9th, 1,207)
Digs: 943 – 14th, (13th, 976)

Becky Walters
Attack Percentage: .249 – T-5th, (4th, .251)

Emily Hiza
Digs: 1,730 – 2nd, (1st, 1,931)

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