Aug. 24, 2011
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The University of Iowa volleyball team opens the 2011 season Friday and Saturday hosting Central Michigan, Marquette and Saint Louis at the Hawkeye Challenge. Admission is $3 for adults and free for youth 18 and younger and UI students with a valid ID. Click HERE to view a complete Hawkeye Challenge schedule.
HAWKEYES STREAMING ONLINE
Fans can follow the Hawkeye Challenge online via Hawkeye All-Access, a subscription service committed to providing quality coverage of Hawkeye athletic events. This weekend’s action will be a video-only event. Volleyball voice of the Hawkeyes Ian Martin will provide the season’s first audio coverage Sept. 3 at Iowa State.
OFFICIAL IOWA VOLLEYBALL BLOG – LIVE STATS
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 and manager Melissa Brockway return in 2011 to host the live blog. Fans can also follow the action with live stats. Visit the Iowa volleyball page at hawkeyesports.com for links to live stats, blogging and Gametracker.
Seniors Megan Eskew and Mallory Husz will have been voted team captains for the 2011 season. In 2010, Husz led Iowa in kills per set (2.37) and ranked second in total blocks (93), while Eskew led the Hawkeyes in total attacks (800) and was one of three Hawkeyes to start every set. Eskew was also a captain in 2010.
STEVENS ON THE SIDELINES
Paige Stevens will forgo her senior season and use her fourth year of eligibility to serve as a student-assistant coach. Stevens, a setter from Naperville, Ill., led the Hawkeyes in assists last season while battling a hip injury that forced her to have surgery in the offseason. The injury continues to limit her playing time, so Stevens has elected to continue to participate in team activities while serving as a student-assistant.
Head coach Sharon Dingman is 3-0 in season openers and 2-1 in home openers since taking over the Iowa program in 2008. Since 1977, the Hawkeyes are 22-12 all-time in season openers and 25-9 all-time in home openers. Iowa hasn’t lost a season opener since 2007 (vs. BYU, 3-2).
The Hawkeyes host two preseason tournaments and make road trips to two others before beginning their 20-match Big Ten schedule. The entire 33-match schedule includes 16 contests against teams that appeared in the 2010 NCAA Tournament. Iowa will face Big Ten newcomer Nebraska Oct. 19 in Lincoln, Neb., and Nov. 22 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa will play a home-away series with every Big Ten team except Illinois and Northwestern. The Hawkeyes face the Illini once (at Illinois, Nov. 26) and the Wildcats once (at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, Oct. 22). The Hawkeyes will make their first trip to Ames, Iowa, since 2008 when they face the Cyclones Sept. 3 in the first meeting of the 2011-12 Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series.
The Hawkeyes have defeated a ranked team in each of Dingman’s three seasons. Iowa will have plenty of opportunities to continue that streak, as eight of their 2011 opponents appear in the AVCA top 25 preseason poll. Iowa’s top 25 victories since 2008 include: vs. No. 18 Wisconsin (3-0, 2008); vs. No. 18 Michigan State (3-0, 2009); vs. No. 16 Michigan (3-1, 2010).
BLACK & GOLD REPRESENTING THE RED, WHITE AND BLUE
Sophomores Rachael Bedell and Bethany Yeager each earned the opportunity to compete for USA Volleyball during the 2011 summer. Bedell helped lead the Women’s Junior A2-Europe Program to a gold medal at the European Global Challenge July 14-22. Yeager helped Team USA grab bronze in the International Junior Division of the USA High Performance Championships in Tucson, Ariz., July 26-29.
Sophomore Rachael Bedell ranked fourth on the team in kills last season.
WHO’S THAT GIRL?
The Hawkeyes have seven newcomers on this year’s roster. They include sophomore transfer Grace Burns (5-9, DS) and true freshmen Erin Leppek (6-0, MB), Alex Lovell (5-11, OH), Megan Makuck (5-7, DS), Kari Mueller (5-7, DS), Alli O’Deen (5-11, OH) and Emily Yanny (6-2, MB).
Senior Megan Eskew and sophomore Bethany Yeager started every match last season. Eskew led the team in total attacks (800) and Yeager led Iowa in digs (464) and digs per set (4.36). Graduated senior Becky Walters was the only other Hawkeye to start every match in 2010.
ENJOY THE VIEW
The Hawkeyes retired the “North Carver” playing court last season. For the first time since 2004, Iowa will return to using the “full court” and fans will be able to sit 360-degrees around the arena. Black curtains will hang from the rafters to help create an intimate atmosphere and lower Carver’s capacity from 15,500 to 8,517.
HAWKEYE CHALLENGE HONOREES
Iowa has three players competing this weekend that earned Hawkeye Challenge honors last season. Senior Megan Eskew and sophomore Bethany Yeager were named to the 2010 all-tournament team, and senior Mallory Husz was named tournament MVP. Husz averaged 12 kills per set and 6.7 blocks per set to lead Iowa to the tournament title.
HIGHEST HONORABLE MENTION
For the second straight year, Iowa’s recruiting class earned Highest Honorable Mention honors from PrepVolleyball.com. The honor is bestowed to those schools that just missed being ranked inside the top 30. Iowa’s seven-person recruiting class includes one sophomore and six freshmen.
Since 1990, when all three records were kept, the Hawkeyes had never had three different players lead the team in total kills, kills per set and total attacks in any single season. That changed last year when Becky Walters led the team in total kills (240), Mallory Husz led the team in kills per set (2.37) and Megan Eskew led the team in total attacks (800). Husz will attempt to become the first Hawkeye to lead the team in kills per set in back-to-back seasons since Catherine Smale performed the task in 2005-06. Smale was also the last Hawkeye to lead the team in total attacks in consecutive seasons (2005-06).
Paige Stevens led the Hawkeyes with nine double-doubles in 2010.
BIG TEN GOES BIG IN PRESEASON POLL
The Big Ten is represented by seven teams in the AVCA top 25 preseason poll. Penn State was the preseason favorite for the fourth straight year. Conference newcomer Nebraska and Illinois join Penn State in the top 10 as the Huskers rank fifth and the Illini hold eighth in the poll. Other top 25 residents include Minnesota (No. 12), Purdue (No. 13), Ohio State (No. 21) and Michigan (No. 24).
SEASON TICKET INFORMATION
Season tickets remain on sale through the UI Ticket Office. Season tickets are two-for-$20 and include a complementary Hawkeye t-shirt. Contact the UI Ticket Office at 1-800-IA-HAWKS or visit hawkeyesports.com to place your season ticket order.
Head Coach: Bond Shymansky (41-21, 3rd season)
2010 Record/Conference: 23-9 overall; 11-3, 3rd (Big East)
Top Performers: Ciara Jones, Sr., 3.30 kps; Ashley Beyer, Sr., AVCA HM All-American; Julie Jeziorowski, So. 3.58 dps
Series Record/Last Meeting: Iowa leads 2-1/2009, Iowa, 3-1
Head Coach: Erik Olson (99-109, eighth season)
2010 Record/Conference: 14-15 overall; 8-8 (6th, MAC)
Top Performers: Kaitlyn Schultz, Sr., All-MAC First Team; Catherine Ludwig, Sr., 10.4 aps; Jocelyn VerVelde, Jr., 52 total blocks
Series Record/Last Meeting: Iowa leads 2-1/2009, Iowa, 3-1
Head Coach: Kent Miller (0-0, first season)
2010 Record/Conference: 19-13 overall; 11-4 (3rd, Atlantic 10)
Top Performers: Alyssa Deno, Sr., 3.37 kps, 2.68 dps; Andrea Beaty, So., 2.80 kps
Series Record/Last Meeting: Iowa leads 2-0/2010, Iowa 3-2