New Facility Makes for a 'Cool' Practice

Aug. 9, 2011

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IOWA CITY, Iowa — Nice and cool. Those were the words senior Megan Eskew used to describe the first day of volleyball camp at the new practice facility inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

The Hawkeyes opened training camp today, 10 days before the annual Black and Gold scrimmage and 17 days before their season opener. They’ll train twice daily for the next two weeks inside the new facility before returning to Mediacom Court at Carver-Hawkeye Arena to acclimate themselves to their home floor and establish a home court advantage.

“It was certainly different than years past,” said Eskew, who has spent the last four training camps battling the summer heat at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. “We’re able to maintain a lot of energy in the new gym and get in a lot of work without interruption.”

Erin Leppek, one of seven newcomers on this year’s roster, doesn’t have the experience to compare the new facility to the old, but she enjoyed the practice, nonetheless.

“I wasn’t here last year,” said Leppek, “but I know the new place is very nice. It’s very exciting. Much more intense than club or high school training, and I hear it just gets harder, but it’s still very exciting.”

Head Coach Sharon Dingman said the new facility provides little nuances that benefit the players and the practice rhythm.

“First of all it’s great to be in the new gym,” said Dingman. “It’s clean, it’s bright, the floor is beautiful, but it’s also not huge. Compared to Carver, the smaller space makes something as easy as shagging balls that much easier, which means we’re able to keep a schedule and maintain a high level of intensity.”

Dingman and the Hawkeyes open the season at home Aug. 26 at 7 p.m. against Central Michigan. Season tickets are now available online at