Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series Awaits Hawkeyes

Complete Notes

The University of Iowa volleyball team (5-2) travels to Ames, Iowa this weekend to compete at the Iowa State Challenge. The Hawkeyes open the tournament Friday at 10 a.m. against Syracuse. Iowa faces 18th-ranked in-state rival Iowa State on Friday night at 6:30 p.m. as part of the annual Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series. The Hawkeyes conclude action in Ames on Saturday at 4 p.m. against Eastern Washington. All matches will be played in Hilton Coliseum.

Friday, Sept. 7
10 a.m. – Iowa vs. Syracuse
12:30 p.m. – Eastern Washington at Iowa State
4 p.m. – Syracuse vs. Eastern Washington
6:30 p.m. – Iowa at Iowa State
Saturday, Sept. 8
4 p.m. – Iowa vs. Eastern Washington
6:30 p.m. – Syracuse at Iowa State

Iowa’s match against the Cyclones will mark the second event in this year’s Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series. The Hawkeyes lead the annual series 2-0 after the Iowa soccer team defeated Iowa State, 3-1, in Ames on Aug. 31.

Fans can follow Hawkeye volleyball at, where play-by-play voice of the Hawkeyes Ian Martin will call the action throughout the season. Hawkeye All-Access, a subscription service committed to providing quality coverage of Hawkeye athletic events, will air the Iowa State match and every Big Ten contest this season.

Live blogging will be available for every Hawkeye match at the Iowa State Challenge. A member of the Iowa volleyball staff will offer scoring updates and interactive content from the Official Iowa Volleyball Blog. Hawkeye manager Libbie Hillmer will host the live blog. Visit the Iowa volleyball page at for links to the live blog.

Iowa hit the road for the first time in 2012 last weekend, competing at the Golden Grizzly Invitational hosted by Oakland University in Rochester, Mich. The Hawkeyes downed Eastern Illinois on Friday (3-1) and Toledo on Saturday morning (3-1) in their first neutral site matches of the year. Iowa fell in five sets in its first true road contest Saturday night at Oakland. The Hawkeyes won the first two games before the Golden Grizzlies rallied for the match victory and the tournament title.

Five Hawkeyes have garnered all-tournament honors this season. Juniors Rachael Bedell and Nikki Dailey, and sophomore Alex Lovell, were named to the Golden Grizzly Invitational All-Tournament Team. Lovell paced Iowa during the three-match tournament with 41 kills. Bedell totaled 38 kills and 28 digs while registering two double-doubles. Dailey notched 128 assists and 33 digs. Juniors Bethany Yeager and Chante’ Thompson were both named to the Hawkeye Challenge All-Tournament Team. Yeager registered 86 digs in the four-match tournament and added 12 assists. Thompson notched 38 kills and recorded two career-best matches.

vs. SYRACUSE (Sept. 7)
Head Coach: Leonid Yelin (3-3, 1st season)
2012 Record/Neutral/Conference: 3-4 overall; 2-2; 0-0 (BIG EAST)
Series Record/Last Meeting: First meeting

at IOWA STATE (Sept. 7)
Head Coach: Christy Johnson-Lynch (152-76, 8th season)
2012 Record/Home/Conference: 2-3 overall; 0-0; 0-0 (Big 12)
Series Record/Last Meeting: Iowa State leads, 22-21/2011, Iowa State, 3-0

Head Coach: Lisa Westlake (0-7, 1st season)
2012 Record/Neutral/Conference: 0-3 overall; 0-4; 0-0 (Big Sky)
Series Record/Last Meeting: Eastern Washington leads, 1-0/2004, 3-1

The Hawkeyes have defeated a ranked team in three of Dingman’s four seasons, and will get their first chance at a ranked foe Friday at No. 18 Iowa State. Iowa will have plenty of opportunities to continue that trend, as seven of their 2012 opponents appear in the AVCA top 25 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).

Bethany Yeager became the 14th Hawkeye in program history to surpass 1,000 career digs in Iowa’s season-opening sweep of Chicago State. The junior registered a match-high 21 digs in the win. She ranks first in the Big Ten with 156 digs and ranks second in digs per set (5.38). Yeager ranks 10th at Iowa in career digs (1,145). Fellow junior Nikki Dailey ranks seventh in career assists (1,752).

Three Hawkeyes have registered a double-double in 2012. Junior Rachael Bedell and sophomore Alex Lovell have each turned in four, and junior Nikki Dailey has added three. Bedell tallied two double-double performances last weekend (11 kills, 10 digs vs. Eastern Illinois; 10 kills, 11 digs vs. Oakland). Lovell (16 kills, 11 digs) and Dailey (46 assists, 18 digs) also tallied double-doubles in Iowa’s match at Oakland.

After playing its first four matches at home on Mediacom Court in Carver-Hawkeye Arena at the Hawkeye Challenge (Aug. 24-25), Iowa is in the middle of a stretch of 11-straight matches away from Iowa City. The Hawkeyes went 2-1 last weekend in the Oakland Tournament. Iowa continues action on the road this weekend at the Iowa State Challenge, before concluding nonconference action (Sept. 14-15) in Milwaukee, Wis., at the Marquette Tournament. The Hawkeyes open conference action Sept. 21 at Ohio State and Sept. 22 at Penn State before returning to Iowa City on Sept. 28 to face Michigan in their Big Ten home opener. Iowa is 2-0 in neutral site matches and 0-1 in true road matches.

The Big Ten is represented by six teams in the AVCA top 25 poll, including the top two nationally-ranked squads. The six teams marks the most of any conference. Defending league champion Nebraska is No. 1 overall, followed by Penn State at No. 2. Purdue ranks 11th and Minnesota sits at 14th. Other top 25 residents include Illinois, the 2011 national runner-up (No. 20) and Michigan (No. 23). Ohio State and Michigan State are receiving votes.

Three Hawkeyes on the 2012 roster hail from the state of Iowa. All three are from Iowa City: sophomores Kari Mueller and Katie Kelley, and redshirt freshman Alli O’Deen. Mueller competed at City High School while Kelley and O’Deen led West High School to the 2010 state title.

The Hawkeyes have six newcomers on this year’s roster. They include sophomore transfers Alessandra Dietz (Loyola-Marymount, 6-1, MB) and Katie Kelley (Maryland, 5-5, DS), and true freshmen Julianne Blomberg (5-11, DS/OH), Kathleen Dailey (5-11, DS/OH), Erin Radke (6-1, RS) and Anne Yanda (5-11, S). Four newcomers — Dietz, Kelley, Yanda, Radke — have seen action in 2012.

Juniors Bethany Yeager and Nikki Dailey started every match last season. Dailey played in all 123 sets in 2011, while Yeager, an Academic All-Big Ten honoree, has only missed one set in her first three seasons at Iowa (257-of-258).

In 2011, sophomore Alex Lovell led the team in kills and became Iowa’s first freshman since 2005 to surpass 300 kills in a single season, recording 312. Junior Nikki Dailey led the team a year ago in assists (1,152) and service aces (33). Junior Bethany Yeager led Iowa in digs (527) for the second time in as many years.

Senior Allison Straumann and juniors Bethany Yeager and Nikki Dailey have been voted team captains for the 2012 season. Straumann, Iowa’s lone senior, has appeared in 45 career matches. Yeager and Dailey both started every match in 2011.

The Hawkeyes hosted the Hawkeye Challenge and make three weekend road trips before beginning their 20-match Big Ten schedule. The entire 33-match schedule includes 18 contests against teams that appeared in the 2011 NCAA Tournament. Iowa will play a home-away series with every Big Ten team except Illinois and Northwestern for the second-straight season. The Hawkeyes face the Illini once (at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, Nov. 24) and the Wildcats once (at Northwestern, Oct. 21).

Season tickets remain on sale through the UI Ticket Office. Season tickets are 2-for-$30 and include a complementary Hawkeye t-shirt. Contact the UI Ticket Office at 1-800-IA-HAWKS or visit to place your season ticket order.

Become fans of the official Iowa Volleyball fan page by going to to follow the Hawkeyes on Facebook. Fans can also follow the Black and Gold on Twitter (@IowaVolleyball).