Final Road Trip Awaits Hawkeyes

Nov. 16, 2010

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The University of Iowa volleyball team travels to Champaign, IL, to face No. 9 Illinois Friday at 7 p.m. inside Huff Hall. Illinois is 13-3, 21-5 and sits tied with Penn State for first place in the Big Ten.

The Hawkeyes close their weekend series against Wisconsin Saturday in Madison, WI. Game time is set for 7 p.m. inside the UW Field House. Wisconsin is 4-12 in the conference, 15-12 overall. Admission is $3 for adults and free for youth 18 and younger.

Fans can follow Hawkeye volleyball at, where play-by-play voice of the Hawkeyes Jordan Loperena will call the action live from Huff Hall and the UW Field House. Both matches will be broadcast live with audio 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 every match throughout the season. A member of the Iowa volleyball staff will offer scoring updates and interactive content from the Official Iowa Volleyball Blog. Former Hawkeye Katie Kennedy operates the blog for Iowa’s home games and manager Melissa Brockway hosts the blog on Hawkeye road trips. Fans can also follow the action with live stats. Visit the Iowa volleyball page at for links to live stats, blogging and Gametracker.

Friday’s contest at Illinois will be streamed live on Tim Ditman and Oscar Grajeda will call the action live from Huff Hall. Saturday’s contest will also be streamed live on Fans interested in a live audio and video stream should visit and create a personal profile page. The Big Ten Network is committed to providing Big Ten fans with the best and most coverage of the schools and teams they are most passionate about. is a subscription based service.

With Iowa’s 3-1 win over 16th ranked Michigan (11/13), the Hawkeyes have now defeated a ranked team in every season since Dingman arrived in 2008. The Hawkeyes defeated No. 18 Wisconsin, 3-0, in Dingman’s 2008 Big Ten debut and swept No. 18 Michigan State, 3-0, in 2009.

Junior Mallory Husz and senior Becky Walters both topped the 200 kills plateau against Michigan State Nov. 12. Walters leads the team with a career-best 211 kills while Husz ranks second with a career-best 209 kills.

Becky Walters has totaled a team-high 32 service aces.

500 CLUB
Senior Becky Walters picked up her 500th career kill Oct. 30 versus Northwestern. The redshirt senior entered the contest with 497 career kills and finished the match with a team-high eight kills. Walters has recorded a career-high 209 kills in 2010.

Freshman libero Bethany Yeager is on pace to become the first freshman since 2005 to lead the team in digs as a freshman (Emily Hiza – 472). Yeager has 399 digs through 25 matches and is pace for 462 saves. She has picked up at least 20 digs seven times this season, including 24 vs. Wisconsin (10/22), 32 vs. Indiana (10/1), 21 vs. Saint Louis (9/4), 33 vs. Creighton (9/4), 20 vs. Wake Forest (9/3), 21 vs. Green Bay (8/29) and 23 vs. Southern Illinois (8/28).

Freshman Nikki Dailey came off the bench to dish 14 assists in Iowa’s 3-1 win over No. 16 Michigan. She ranks second on the team averaging 2.85 assists per set. Dailey added six digs and two kills against the Wolverines.

Freshman Bethany Yeager has started each of Iowa’s 25 contests and has appeared in all 91 sets played. Iowa’s 5-7 libero is on pace to become the first freshman since 2005 to start every match. In 2005, freshmen Kiley Fister, Emily Hiza and Catherine Smale started each of Iowa’s 33 matches. Hiza set the freshman record for digs, picking up 472 saves (3.87 per set). Yeager currently averages 4.38 digs per set, totaling 399 digs in 91sets.

Senior Becky Walters has 32 service aces in 25 matches. At her current rate, she will finish with 37 service aces, the highest total since Lisa Dockray served 43 aces in 1995. Since the inception of rally scoring in 2001, the school record for service aces in a season is 36, set by Sara Meyermann in 2001. Walters ranks fourth in the conference averaging 0.35 aces per game. Iowa’s middle blocker entered the season with 15 career service aces but has more than doubled that total with 31 in 2010.

The Hawkeyes have started four freshmen in a single match three times this season, more than any other Big Ten team. Rachael Bedell, Nikki Dailey, Chante’ Thompson and Bethany Yeager have started at Northern Illinois (9/19), vs. Minnesota (10/6) and at Northwestern (10/8). Yeager has not missed a set while starting every match at the libero position. Dailey has nine starts under her belt, Chante’ Thompson has started five matches and OH Rachael Bedell has started 18 matches.

Three Hawkeyes have started every match this season. Senior MB Becky Walters, junior OH Megan Eskew and freshman libero Bethany Yeager have started each of Iowa’s 25 contests. Walters leads Iowa in kills (211), blocks (86) and service aces (32); Yeager leads Iowa with 399 digs and Eskew leads the team in total attacks (710).

Six Hawkeyes have recorded double-doubles this season, but none more than junior Paige Stevens. Iowa’s setter has posted eight double-doubles, all of which were of the assist-dig variety. Stevens’ last double-double (24assists, 13 digs) came in Iowa’s 3-1 win over Michigan (11/13). Other Hawkeyes to record double-doubles include Megan Eskew (5), Nikki Dailey (3), Mallory Husz (1), Tiffany Nilges (1) and Becky Walters (1).

The Hawkeyes rank fifth in the Big Ten in digs per set. Iowa (14.76) is led by freshman libero Bethany Yeager, who picks up 4.38 digs per set, the fourth best total in the conference. She is one of only two freshmen listed among the conference’s top 10 leaders in digs per set.

Bethany Yeager ranks fourth in the Big Ten in digs per set.

Six times this season Iowa has played into the fifth set. The Hawkeyes have been victorious in four of the six matches. The Hawkeyes rallied from two sets down to top Southern Illinois (8/28), nearly lost a two-set advantage before topping Creighton (9/4) and rallied from a 2-1 deficit to beat Saint Louis (9/4). The Hawkeyes have lost five-set decisions at Drake (9/14) and vs. Wisconsin (10/22). Iowa was 2-1 in five-set matches last season.

Senior Becky Walters and junior Megan Eskew are team captains for the 2010 season. Walters, a fifth-year senior from Parkersburg, IA, leads Iowa with 31 service aces and 74 total blocks. Eskew missed 2009 with a knee injury but returned to the court with a bang by earning all-tournament honors at the season-opening Hawkeye Challenge.

For the first time in program history, the Iowa volleyball team started 3-0 in consecutive seasons. Iowa swept through the Hawkeye Challenge to post its 3-0 record this year. In 2009, the Hawkeyes matched the best start in program history by winning their first six matches. The Hawkeyes’ 5-1 start matches the second-best start in program history. Only the 1978, 1988 and 2009 teams started the season with a better record (6-0).

The Fighting Illini are led by second-year head coach Kevin Hambly and senior Hillary Haen. Haen, the quarterback of the Illinois offense, leads all Big Ten players in assists per game (11.38). Illinois leads the all-time series, 48-13. The Hawkeyes were swept by the Fighting Illini in the first matchup of 2010 (10/23) and have not defeated Illinois since winning 3-0 at Illinois in 2005.

The Badgers are led by 12th-year head coach Pete Waite, the all-time winningest coach in program history, and senior Kim Kuzma, who ranks third in the conference picking up 4.82 digs per set. Wisconsin leads the all-time series 41-20-1, but Iowa has won three of the last five meetings. The Hawkeyes defeated the Badgers 3-1 in Madison in the 2009 Big Ten opener. Wisconsin won at Iowa in five sets (Oct. 22) in the first meeting of 2010.