Hawkeyes Close Regular Season with Purdue and Indiana

Nov. 24, 2009

Complete Release in PDF Format

The Hawkeyes return home this weekend to close the regular season and play host to Purdue Friday and Indiana Saturday. Both contests will begin at 7 p.m. at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Fans can follow Hawkeye volleyball on hawkeyesports.com, where play-by-play voice of the Hawkeyes Dan Wallace will call the action live from Carver-Hawkeye Arena. This weekend’s live video broadcast is provided by 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.

“The support we continue to have is greatly appreciated. Hawkeye fans appreciate hard work and disciplined effort and it is our goal to give that to them every time we take the court.”
Head Coach Sharon Dingman

The Hawkeyes rank 30th in national attendance, averaging 1,373 fans in 11 home contests. Since Head Coach Sharon Dingman’s arrival prior to 2008 season, Hawkeye fans have been flocking to Carver-Hawkeye Arena in record numbers. Four of the top-five all-time attendance figures have been set during the Dingman era. The Hawkeyes set a school attendance record Nov. 7 vs. Penn State when 2,802 fans witnessed the Hawkeyes host the nation’s top-ranked team. The record announced crowd broke the old mark of 2,191 set against Wisconsin on Oct. 13, 2007.

The Hawkeyes are hosting Little Spikers Night Friday at 7 p.m. when the Purdue Boilermakers visit Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa seniors Christina Meister and Megan Schipper will sign autographs following the match. Iowa will then host Fan Appreciation Night and Senior Night Saturday at 7 p.m. when the Hawkeyes battle Indiana.

The Hawkeyes will honor seniors Christina Meister and Megan Schipper following Saturday night’s contest vs. Indiana. The senior duo ranks one-two in digs and service aces this season. Meister ranks second in the conference in digs per set while Schipper recently picked up her 300th kill for the third consecutive season.

Senior Megan Schipper currently ranks 12th on Iowa’s all-time list with 1,147 career kills. She needs seven kills to pass Dee Ann Davidson (1,153) for 11th all-time. On October 23rd, the Hawkeye captain was honored for becoming the 16th player in program history to record 1,000 career kills. The Aplington, IA, native passed the elusive number in Iowa’s 3-1 win at Wisconsin (9/23). Schipper picked up her 300th kill of the season at Illinois (11/20), marking the third time in her career she has surpassed the 300-kill plateau. In 2007, she led the Hawkeyes with 309 kills as a sophomore. She tallied a career-high 345 kills in 2008, the second-highest total on the team (Catherine Smale, 380). This season, Schipper leads Iowa with 304 kills (2.95 kills per set).

“We still have the opportunity to do some special things this season. I know the players are focused on the right things and are focusing their energy on having a great week of practice as we prepare for Purdue and Indiana.”
Head Coach Sharon Dingman

Iowa ranks third in the Big Ten, averaging 14.80 digs per set. Senior libero Christina Meister ranks second in the Big Ten with 4.31 digs per set. Since 1990, only three Hawkeyes have averaged more than four digs per set through an entire season: Pam Kavadas, 5.22 (`04); Emily Hiza, 4.74 (`06) and 4.52 (`07); and Janet Moylan, 4.63 (`90). Meister has set a new bar for total digs in a season under the current 25-point rally scoring format. She has 447 total digs in 2009. Emily Hiza established the record with 419 digs in 2008, the first year of the current scoring format.

Senior Megan Schipper is one of only nine players in program history to rank among the top 20 career leaders in kills, blocks and service aces. The Hawkeye captain currently ranks 12th in career kills (1,147), 16th in career blocks (220) and 20th in career service aces (77).

Sophomore Mallory Husz slapped a career-high 12 kills in Iowa’s five-set win over Wisconsin on the Big Ten Network, Nov. 11. The native of Council Bluffs, IA, also stuffed a career-best seven blocks against the Badgers to help the Hawkeyes sweep the season series from Wisconsin for the first time in 15 years (1994). Husz bounced back against Minnesota (11/13) with a team-leading 10 kills. She picked up three more blocks and tied a career high with three digs vs. the Golden Gophers. She then picked up her first two career aces at Northwestern (11/21). Husz has started eight of Iowa’s last nine contests and totaled a team leading 27 kills in the Hawkeyes’ four contests against nationally ranked Illinois (2), Penn State and Minnesota.

Sophomore Paige Stevens made her first career start against Wisconsin (Nov. 11) and finished with a career-best 52 assists in Iowa’s five-set win over the Badgers. The 52 assists marked a season high for any Hawkeye individual this season. Stevens backed up her effort against Wisconsin with a career-high 11 digs vs. Minnesota, Nov. 13.

Sophomore Tiffany Nilges shined on prime time television in Iowa’s 3-2 win over Wisconsin, Nov. 11, on the Big Ten Network. The Tripoli, IA, native picked up career highs in kills (9) and digs (8) as Iowa swept the season series from the Badgers for the first time since 1994.

Senior Megan Schipper has slapped 300 kills in each of the past three seasons.

The Boilermakers are led by seventh-year head coach Dave Shondell and MH Tiffany Fischer. The sophomore ranks 10th in the Big Ten with a .311 attack percentage. Purdue leads the all-time series, 43-18. The Boilermakers topped the Hawkeyes 3-0 in West Lafayette earlier this season (Oct. 17) and have won the past 11 meetings. Iowa last defeated the Boilermakers, 3-2, at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in 2003.

The Hoosiers are led by third-year head coach Sherry Dunbar and players Ashley Benson and Jordan Haverly. The front row duo is among the Big Ten leaders in kills per set, ranking ninth and 10th, respectively. Benson, a junior MB, leads the Hoosiers with 3.29 kills per set. Haverly, a freshman OH, ranks 10th in the conference with 3.24 kills per set. The Hoosiers lead the all-time series, 33-25. Indiana topped Iowa in three sets at Assembly Hall earlier this season (Oct. 16). The two teams split the season series a year ago, with each team defending its own home court. Iowa rallied from a 2-1 deficit to defeat Indiana in five sets last season at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

The Hawkeyes are 12-0 when attacking at a higher percentage than their opponent this season. Conversely, Iowa’s opponent has hit a higher percentage in each of the Hawkeyes’ 18 losses.

Penn State clinched its seventh consecutive and 13th overall Big Ten title last weekend and now looks to secure its third consecutive perfect Big Ten season. The Nittany Lions remain the No. 1 team in the nation and are joined in the rankings by No. 5 Illinois, No. 12 Michigan, No. 13 Minnesota and Ohio State, who is receiving votes.

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.

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 (304) and service aces (28) and ranks second in digs (286). Hilgenberg leads the Hawkeyes with 891 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.