Indiana, Purdue and Pink Match on Deck

Oct. 5, 2011

Weekly Release

The University of Iowa volleyball team hosts Indiana and No. 11 Purdue this weekend on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Hawkeyes face Indiana Friday at 7 p.m. and Purdue Saturday at 7 p.m. Admission is $3 for adults and free for UI students with a valid ID and youth age 18 and younger.

  • Attacking Breast Cancer Match
    Iowa vs. Indiana — Friday, Oct. 7

  • All fans are encouraged to wear PINK to the match
  • $1 from every ticket sold that evening will be donated to the Holden Cancer Center
  • FREE pink tigerhawk headbands for the first 1,000 fans
  • Online auction of various UI Volleyball experiences and prizes, with all proceeds to benefit the Holden Cancer Center
  • Breast cancer survivors will be recognized during the match

Fans can follow Hawkeye volleyball at, where play-by-play voice of the Hawkeyes Ian Martin will call this weekend’s action live from Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Hawkeye All-Access, a subscription service committed to providing quality coverage of Hawkeye athletic events, will provide a live audio and video stream Friday and a live audio stream Saturday. VIDEO STREAM
Saturday’s contest vs. Purdue will be streamed live on via the BTN Digital Network. Hawkeye All-Access subscribers can watch live video streams of UI events on the BTN Digital Network at no extra charge. Dan Wallace will call the play-by-play while Adam Hairston provides color commentary.

Live stats and live blogging are available this weekend at the Hawkeye Service Center at The Hawkeye Service Center is a one-stop webpage that features live stats, Gametracker, and inside information and interactive content via the Official Iowa Volleyball Blog. Former Hawkeye Katie Kennedy and manager Melissa Brockway are the official hosts of the 2011 blog.

INDIANA (Oct. 7)
Head Coach: Sherry Dunbar (5th season, 193-91)
2011 Record/Conference: 8-8, 0-4 (tied for 11th)
Top Performers: Caitlyn Cox, Sr., L, Indiana’s all-time leader in digs with 1,663. Her 4.41 average ranks No. 6 in the conference this season.
Series Record/Last Meeting: IU leads 36-25/Ind, 3-0 (2011)
Streak: Indiana, 1
Iowa’s last win: Oct. 1, 2010; Iowa 3-0 (Iowa City)

No. 11 PURDUE (Oct. 8)
Head Coach: Dave Shondell (9th season, 176-104)
2011 Record/Conference: 14-1, 3-1 (tied for 3rd)
Top Performers: Ariel Turner, Jr., OH, reigning conference player of the week leads Purdue with 218 kills (4.54 per set), her 5.30 ppg leads the Big Ten; Tiffany Fisher, Sr., MB, lead the conference with a .427 attack percentage.
Series Record/Last Meeting: PU leads 45-19/PU 3-0 (2011)
Streak: Purdue, 2
Iowa’s last win: Nov. 27, 2009; Iowa 3-2 (Iowa City)

In two matches against the Hoosiers in 2010, sophomore Bethany Yeager averaged 5.38 digs per set. Her 32-dig effort in Iowa’s 3-2 win over Indiana (Oct. 1, 2010) was the eighth highest dig total in program history.

Tiffany Nilges

Freshman Alex Lovell has made a home in Iowa City and on top of Iowa’s box scores. Lovell leads the Hawkeyes with 166 kills, averaging a team-high 2.91 per set. Her 19 kills vs. Ohio State (9/23) were the most by a Hawkeye freshman vs. a Big Ten opponent since Catherine Smale totaled 21 kills vs. Michigan State in 2005. Lovell has recorded double-digit kills in seven matches.

Iowa’s 82 service aces are the third-highest total in the conference. Sophomore Nikki Dailey leads the Hawkeyes with 23 services aces. Her 0.37 per set average ranks seventh in the conference. The Hawkeyes served a season-high 11 aces in their 3-1 win over St. John’s (9/17).

Sophomore Bethany Yeager ranks third in the Big Ten with 276 total digs. Her 4.38 average leads the Hawkeyes and ranks No. 7 in the conference. Yeager picked up 4.36 digs per set last season, the fourth highest total in the Big Ten. She averaged a league-best 5.0 digs per set in the opening weekend of conference play.

Senior Mallory Husz averages a team-high 1.12 blocks per set, the ninth highest total in the Big Ten. Husz matched her career best with 11 total blocks in Iowa’s 3-1 win over Southern Miss. The 11 stuffs are the highest single match total in the conference. Husz totaled 16 blocks, including eight in the title match against St. John’s, at the Columbia Invitational. She added 23 total kills in the four-match tournament to earn MVP honors.

The Hawkeyes will have another shot at a ranked opponent when No. 11 Purdue visits Iowa City Saturday night. The Hawkeyes have defeated at least one top 25 in each of Sharon Dingman’s three seasons. 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). Hawkeyes 0-4 vs. ranked opponents so far this year (No. 19 Iowa State, No. 24 Ohio State, No. 5 Penn State, No. 17 Michigan).

Senior Megan Eskew and sophomore Nikki Dailey each have a team-high six double-doubles. Eskew’s double-doubles come in the form of kills-digs, while Dailey uses the assist-dig combination to accomplish the feat. Eskew’s most impressive effort came in Iowa’s five-set win over Oakland when she recorded a career high 19 kills and a career best 18 digs. Dailey had a career-high 60 assists in the same match.

Senior Tiffany Nilges has started the last 11 matches as Iowa’s right side hitter. During that stretch, Nilges has averaged 2.68 kills per set, 2.00 digs per set, and set career highs in kills (16 vs. Oakland), hitting percentage (.800 vs. Chicago State), and service aces (2 vs. St. John’s).

Megan Eskew

SEVEN in 20
The Hawkeyes are in the midst of a 20-day stretch in which they play seven matches. The run started with a Sept. 30 match at Michigan and runs through the Oct. 19 date with Nebraska. Including the Michigan match, four of the dates are against nationally ranked competition (at No. 17 Michigan, vs. No. 11 Purdue, at No. 14 Minnesota and at No. 6 Nebraska).

Three Hawkeyes have started all 17 of Iowa’s matches. They include Megan Eskew, Bethany Yeager and Nikki Dailey. Eskew and Yeager started all 29 matches last season, extending their streak of consecutive starts to 46. Yeager has not missed a start in her collegiate career.

The Big Ten is represented by seven teams in the Sept. 26 AVCA top 25 poll. Illinois is the nation’s top-ranked team, while Nebraska (6) and Penn State (8) also occupy a spot among the top 10. Purdue (11), Minnesota (14), Michigan (18) and Ohio State (25) round out the top 25.

Seven Hawkeyes earned all-tournament honors following Iowa’s four preseason tournaments. They include Bethany Yeager (Hawkeye Challenge, Iowa State Challenge, Iowa Invitational); Nikki Dailey (Hawkeye Challenge, Iowa Invitational); Alex Lovell (Iowa Invitational, Columbia Invitational); Megan Eskew (Iowa State Invitational); Mallory Husz (MVP Columbia Invitational); Tiffany Nilges (MVP Iowa Invitational); Chante’ Thompson (Columbia Invitational).

Seniors Megan Eskew and Mallory Husz 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.

For the second straight year, Iowa’s recruiting class earned Highest Honorable Mention honors from The honor is bestowed to those schools that just missed being ranked inside the top 30. Iowa’s seven-person 2011 recruiting class includes one sophomore and six freshmen

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.