Hawkeyes Open Season with Loyola Invitational

Aug. 25, 2009

Hawkeyes set to open season in Chicago
The Iowa Hawkeyes will travel to Chicago, IL, this week to open the 2009 season at the Loyola Invitational. The Hawkeyes will face tournament host Loyola-Chicago at 7 p.m. Friday, Marquette at 10:30 a.m. Saturday and Eastern Kentucky at 5 p.m. Saturday evening.

Hawkeyes Online
Fans can follow Hawkeye volleyball on hawkeyesports.com, where Gametracker will be available for all three weekend matches.

Throughout the season, fans will be able to follow the Hawkeyes via Gametracker, live streaming and live audio by visiting hawkeyesports.com. Dates and times are to-be-determined.

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

Big in `08
Iowa volleyball made significant strides and put together the most successful campaign in recent memory in 2008, including:
? six conference wins, most since 2000 (11)
? 14 overall wins, most since 2000 (15)
? seven-match win streak, fourth-longest streak in school history
? won 15-consecutive sets, longest since 1990 (22)
? winning record at North Carver (7-6), first time since `98
? set average attendance record of 1,146
? recorded five of ten largest crowds in program history
? Dingman recorded career win No. 350 vs. N’western (11/14)
? snapped 18-match confernce road losing streak
? snapped 39-match losing streak to Ohio State (3-1)
? snapped 26-match losing streak to Wisconsin (3-0)

Loyola-Chicago (game one)
The Ramblers are members of the Horizon League and led by fourth-year head coach Marcie Wolbeck. The Ramblers finished 19-11 in 2008 and are led by senior libero Alyse Serritella. Iowa and Loyola-Chicago have each won two of the teams’ four meetings.

Marquette (game two)
The Golden Eagles are picked to finish sixth in the Big East Conference Preseason Coaches Poll. Marquette finished 11-18 in 2008 and is led by junior middle blocker Rabbecka Gonyo and Head Coach Bond Shymansky, a 1995 graduate of the University of Iowa. Iowa and Marquette have split the all-time series, 1-1.

Eastern Kentucky (game three)
The Colonels are picked to finish eighth in the Ohio Valley Preseason Poll. Eastern Kentucky finished 6-23 in 2008 and is led by head coach Lori Duncan and senior outside hitter Lilndsey Loescher, a second team Preseason all-OVC honoree. Iowa leads the all-time series 2-0.

Among the Nation’s Best
The Big Ten is widely recognized as one of the nation’s premier conferences. Penn State returns as the conference champion, winner of the last two NCAA Championships and ranked atop the 2009 Preseason Coaches Poll. Other Big Ten schools ranked in the top 25 include Illinois (10), Minnesota (11), Michigan (16) and Purdue (19).

? The Big Ten led the nation in attendance in 2008 and has been the national leader on six occasions in the last 12 years, including three of the past five seasons.
? The Big Ten has sent three or more teams to NCAA regionals on 14 occasions, including each of the past seven years.
? Big Ten volleyball players have been named all-America by the AVCA over 100 times since 1984.
? The Big Ten accumulated 10 or more wins in each of the last six NCAA Championships.
? Big Ten teams have combined to reach the NCAA semifinals on 15 occasions.
? The Big Ten owns a .616 overall record in NCAA competition and has posted a record of .500 or better in each of the past 18 NCAA tournaments.

Hawkeye Schedule
Iowa opens the season on the road for its first six games and 11 of the first 14 matches. Eleven of Iowa’s 32 contests are against 2008 NCAA Tournament qualifiers. They include Iowa State, Minnesota (2), Penn State (2), Michigan (2), Purdue (2) and Illinois (2).

Hawkeye Captains
Senior outside hitter Megan Schipper and junior setter Mara Hilgenberg have been voted team captains for the 2009 season. In 2008, Schipper ranked among team leaders in kills, service aces, digs and total blocks. Hilgenberg is the Hawkeyes’ top returner in assists and is a third generation Hawkeye captain. Her great-uncle Wally and her uncle Jim were football team captains in 1963 and 1977, respectively.

Welcome to Iowa City
The Hawkeyes have four incoming freshmen on the roster. Newcomers include Emma Krieger-Kittle (Iowa City, IA), Lauren Freidman (Waterloo, IA), Allison Straumann (Cary, IL) and Jordanne LeTourneau (McHenry, IL).

Eskew Out
Junior outside hitter Megan Eskew sustained a torn ACL during summer workouts and will miss the 2009 campaign. Eskew earned academic all-Big Ten honors in 2008 and was named MVP of the 2007 Hawkeye-Holiday Inn Challange as a freshman.

Second Generation
Mara Hilgenberg’s father Jay and Emma Krieger-Kittle’s father Bruce played football at Iowa together from 1977-1980. Jay was a four-time letterwinner and went on to win Super Bowl XX with the 1985 Chicago Bears. Bruce used a redshirt in 1980 and came back as a team captain for Hayden Fry’s 1981 Big Ten Championship team.

Iowa on the BTN
The 2009 Hawkeyes will make two appearances on the Big Ten Network this season. Iowa will open the Big Ten season at Wisconsin Wednesday, September 23. The contest will be aired live at 7 p.m. CT. The rematch between the Hawkeyes and Badgers, Wednesday, November 11, will be broadcast live from Carver-Hawkeye Arena at 7 p.m. CT. Both matches will be broadcast in high-definition.