Hawkeyes To Play 13 Home Matches in 2009

June 10, 2009

IOWA CITY – The University of Iowa volleyball team has announced its 2009 schedule, which includes 13 home matches. Iowa will play a 32-match schedule, including 11 matches against NCAA Tournament teams, along with the two-time defending national champion Penn State Nittany Lions.

Iowa opens its 2009 campaign Aug. 28-29, at the Loyola Invitational, hosted by Loyola-Chicago. Iowa will face host-school Loyola along with Marquette Aug. 28, and will close the tournament against Eastern Kentucky Aug. 29.

Next up for the Hawkeyes will b e the Green Bay Country Inn and Suites Classic, in Green Bay, WI, Sept. 4-5. Iowa will take on South Dakota State, Central Michigan and UW-Green Bay.

Hawkeye fans will get their first chance to see the Black and Gold inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena, Sept. 11-12, at the Hawkeye Challenge. Drake, Iowa State and Northern Colorado will participate in this year’s tournament. The annual Hy-Vee Cy-Hawk Series volleyball match will be Sept. 11 at 7 p.m. Iowa State is coming off a successful 2008 season after it qualified for the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the Elite 8.

Iowa will wrap up non-conference action the following weekend at the West Point Challenge Sept. 18 and 20. The Hawkeyes will face Binghamton and host-institution Army Sept. 18, and then have Saturday off to attend the Army football game. Morgan State will be Iowa’s final non-conference opponent.

Big Ten play will once again be a challenge for the Hawkeyes, as five opponents (Minnesota, Michigan, Purdue, Illinois and Penn State) qualified for the NCAA Tournament a year ago. All five teams won their opening round game, with Illinois, Michigan and Purdue reaching the Sweet 16. Penn State went on to win the 2008 NCAA national championship for the second consecutive season.

Iowa opens Big Ten play with a tough four-match road trip. The Hawkeyes will play at Wisconsin (Sept. 23) to start conference action, then travel to Minnesota (Sept. 26), Penn State (Oct. 2) and Ohio State (Oct. 3).

The Hawkeyes will take on Michigan (Oct. 9) and Michigan State (Oct. 11) in the first two Big Ten matches at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in 2009. Iowa then hits the road, Oct. 16-17, at Indiana and Purdue, before returning home to face Northwestern (Oct. 23) and Illinois (Oct. 24). The Hawkeyes then wrap up the month of October with matches at Michigan State (Oct. 30) and Michigan (Oct. 31).

Iowa will close the 2009 regular season with six of its final eight matches in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes open a four-match home stand Nov. 6 against Ohio State. The Hawkeyes then host Penn State (Nov. 7), Wisconsin (Nov. 11) and Minnesota (Nov. 13). Iowa will hit the road for the last time Nov. 20 at Illinois and Nov. 21 at Northwestern.

The Hawkeyes close the regular season with home matches against Purdue (Nov. 27) and Indiana (Nov. 28).

Iowa returns 13 letterwinners from last year’s team that enjoyed the most successful season in recent memory. The Hawkeyes finished the 2008 season with a 14-18 overall record and ninth place in the Big Ten at 6-14. The six conference wins are the most for an Iowa team since 2000 and the ninth place finish marks the first time since 2000 that the Hawkeyes haven’t finished in one of the two bottom spots of the ultra-competitive Big Ten conference since 2000. The 14 overall wins are also tied for the most since the 2000 season.