Oct. 6, 2009
- Iowa and the Big Ten Network
- Big Ten Network: Free Hawkeye Video
- 24 Hawkeyes to Watch (2009-10 season)
BIG TEN HOME OPENER
The Hawkeyes host eighth-ranked Michigan in their Big Ten home opener Friday at 7 p.m. Following an off-day Saturday for youth camps and Homecoming festivities, the Hawkeyes host 18th-ranked Michigan State Sunday at 1 p.m.
Fans can follow Hawkeye volleyball on hawkeyesports.com, where play-by-play voice of the Hawkeyes Mike Haberle will call the action live from Carver-Hawkeye Arena. This weekend’s action will be broadcast live via Hawkeye All-Access, a subscription service committed to providing quality coverage of Hawkeye athletic events.
Live stats and live blogging will be available for all Big Ten matches in 2009. A member of the Iowa volleyball staff will offer scoring updates and interactive content from the Official Iowa Volleyball Blog. Visit the Iowa volleyball page at hawkeyesports.com for links to live audio, video, blogging and Gametracker.
HAWKEYES ON THE AIR
Play-by-play voice of the Hawkeyes Mike Haberle will broadcast the Hawkeyes’ match Sunday against Michigan State live from Carver-Hawkeye Arena on KXIC (AM 800). The Hawkeyes hit the air at 12:45 p.m. with first serve scheduled for 1 p.m.
“Whether playing at home or playing on the road, our challenge is finding consistency in our performance. If we do that at home this weekend, we will put ourselves in a position to succeed. Certainly, we look forward to playing in front of our fans in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. We all came to Iowa because we love playing in front of Hawkeye fans!”
Head Coach Sharon Dingman
HAWKEYES DIG DEFENSE
The Hawkeyes rank second in the Big Ten in digs per set (15.71), trailing only conference-leading Michigan (15.79). Iowa senior libero Christina Meister leads the Big Ten with 4.48 digs per set. Michigan libero Sloane Donhoff ranks second with 4.40 digs per set.
Junior Becky Walters is one of just five Big Ten players to total eight blocks in a conference match this season. Walters recorded three solos and five blocks assists in Iowa’s Big Ten opener at Wisconsin (Sept. 23).
The eighth-ranked Wolverines are led by 11th-year head coach Mark Rosen and sophomore libero Sloane Donhoff. Donhoff was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week (Sept. 28) and ranks second in the Big Ten with 4.40 digs per game. Michigan has won the last three meetings and leads the all-time series, 28-23. Iowa last defeated the Wolverines in 2007. The Hawkeye rallied from two sets down to defeat Michigan, 3-2, at Carver-Hawkeye Arena (28-30, 29-31, 30-26, 30-28, 15-10).
The Spartans are led by fifth-year head coach Cathy George and S Natalie Emro. The sophomore earned a spot on the all-Big Ten freshman team in 2008 and recorded a Big Ten season-high 62 assists versus Syracuse, Sept. 4. Michigan State leads the all-time series, 33-23. The two teams split the season series in 2008, with each team defending their home court.
HAWKEYES GO DOWN SWINGING
It didn’t end with a `W’ but the Hawkeyes continued their streak-breaking habits at Penn State (Oct. 2). Trailing the nation’s top-ranked team 2-0, Iowa battled to a 26-24 win in set three, ending the Nittany Lions’ streak of 141-straight regular season set victories.
BIG TEN OPENS – STREAK CLOSES
The Iowa Hawkeyes defeated the Wisconsin Badgers, 3-1, in the Big Ten opener Sept. 23 in Madison, WI. Iowa’s win was its first in its last 14 visits to Wisconsin. Iowa last defeated the Badgers on their home floor, 3-2, in 1994. Iowa opened the Big Ten season with a win for the second time in as many seasons under Head Coach Sharon Dingman.
ATTACK, FINISH, WIN
The Hawkeyes are 9-0 when attacking at a higher percentage than their opponent this season. Conversely, Iowa’s opponent has hit a higher percentage in all seven of the Hawkeyes losses.
The Hawkeyes opened the 2009 campaign with seven straight road wins to become the first team in program history to start 7-0 away from home. Prior to Iowa’s 3-0 record-setting win over Binghamton, the Hawkeyes were one of three Iowa teams to start the season 6-0 away from home (1978, 1988).
Junior Signe Mueller and the Hawkeyes return home this weekend to host Michigan and Michigan State.
Iowa opened Big Ten play with four-straight road contests. It was the first time since 1992 the Hawkeyes have opened the conference season with four road 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).
Senior outside hitter Megan Schipper and junior setter Mara Hilgenberg are Iowa’s team captains for the 2009 season. Schipper leads the Hawkeyes in kills (189) and service aces (22) and ranks second in digs (167). Hilgenberg leads the Hawkeyes with 560 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.
IOWA IN THE ATTENDANCE GAME
Iowa ranks 31st in national attendance after averaging 1,275 fans at the 2009 Hawkeye Challenge. Iowa opened the season (Sept. 11) vs. Iowa State in front of 2,111 fans, the second-largest crowd in program history (2,191, Wisconsin, 10/13/07).
Mara Hilgenberg’s father Jay and Emma Krieger Kittle’s father Bruce played football together at Iowa 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.
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 AVCA Coaches Poll. Other Big Ten schools ranked in the top 25 include Minnesota (5), Michigan (8), Illinois (12) and Michigan State (18).
IOWA ON THE BTN
The 2009 Hawkeyes will make two appearances on the Big Ten Network this season. Iowa opened the Big Ten season on the Big Ten Network with a 3-1 win at Wisconsin, Sept. 23. The rematch between the Hawkeyes and Badgers, Wednesday, Nov. 11, will be broadcast live from Carver-Hawkeye Arena at 7 p.m. CT.
FOLLOW THE TEAM WITH IOWA’S VOLLEYBLOG
Iowa volleyball fans will be able to follow along with senior Megan Schipper, junior Aimee Huffman, sophomore Mallory Husz and freshman Emma Krieger Kittle as they blog about the season. All four student-athletes will discuss things like upcoming matches, road trips and what it’s like being a student-athlete at the University of Iowa. Visit the volleyball home page to check out Iowa’s own VOLLEYBLOG.