Iowa Opens B1G Action at Ohio State, Penn State

Sept. 19, 2012

Iowa Notes

The University of Iowa volleyball team concludes its 11-match road trip this weekend, opening Big Ten play at No. 23 Ohio State on Friday and No. 4 Penn State on Saturday. The Hawkeyes (8-5) and Buckeyes will square off at 6 p.m. (CT) inside St. John Arena in Columbus, Ohio. Iowa and the Nittany Lions will compete at 7 p.m. (CT) at Rec Hall in University Park, Pa. Friday’s match at Ohio State can be seen live on

Friday’s contest at Ohio State marks the first of Iowa’s 20-match conference slate. Five of the last six national championships have been claimed by current members of the Big Ten. Nebraska won the title in 2006 before Penn State captured four straight (2007-10). Illinois finished as the national runner-up to UCLA a year ago. Seven league teams are currently ranked in the top 25 (out of 328 Division I programs) and two others are receiving votes. Big Ten teams finished with a combined 114-25 nonconference record.

Friday’s match at Ohio State marks the first of 10 Hawkeye matches that will be available via live coverage during the season. The Iowa-Ohio State match will be shown on BTN on Monday at 3:30 p.m. (CT). The Hawkeyes’ matches against Penn State on Oct. 24 and at Northwestern on Oct. 21 will be shown on BTN, while eight other contests will be streamed on

2012 Iowa Live Coverage Schedule:
Sept. 21 – at Ohio State (
Sept. 28 – vs. Michigan (
Oct. 12 – vs. Minnesota (
Oct. 13 – vs. Wisconsin (
Oct. 17 – vs. Nebraska (
Oct. 21 – at Northwestern (BTN)
Oct. 24 – vs. Penn State (BTN)
Nov. 3 – at Michigan (
Nov. 8 – vs. Purdue (
Nov. 17 – at Minnesota (


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 every Big Ten contest this season.

Live blogging and live stats (Gametracker) will be available for both matches this weekend. A member of the Iowa volleyball staff will provide 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 Gametracker and the live blog.

at #23 OHIO STATE (Sept. 21)
Head Coach: Geoff Carlston (91-60, 5th season)
2012 Record/Home/Conference: 9-3 overall; 2-1; 0-0
Series Record/Last Meeting: Ohio State leads, 53-9/2011, Ohio State (3-1, 3-1)
Take Note: Faced four ranked teams (1-3); advanced to 2011 Sweet 16

at #4 PENN STATE (Sept. 22)
Head Coach: Russ Rose (1,068-173, 34th season)
2012 Record/Home/Conference: 10-1 overall; 5-0; 0-0
Series Record/Last Meeting: Penn State leads, 43-0/2011, Penn State (3-0, 3-1)
Take Note: Five-time NCAA champions: 1999, 2007-10; 2-0 vs. ranked foes

Five Hawkeyes garnered all-tournament honors during the nonconference slate. Juniors Bethany Yeager and Chante’ Thompson were both named to the Hawkeye Challenge All-Tournament Team. Juniors Rachael Bedell and Nikki Dailey, and sophomore Alex Lovell, were named to the Golden Grizzly Invitational All-Tournament Team. Dailey and Lovell were named to the Iowa State Challenge All-Tournament Team. Yeager was named to the all-tournament team at the Marquette Invitational, Iowa’s final nonconference event.

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 277 total digs and first in digs per set (5.13). The Brenham, Texas, native ranks 37th nationally in digs per set. Yeager stands in seventh at Iowa in career digs (1,266). Fellow junior Nikki Dailey ranks seventh in career assists (1,976) and stands at eighth in league assists (9.59/set).

Three Hawkeyes have registered a double-double in 2012. Junior Nikki Dailey leads the way with nine double-doubles. Sophomore Alex Lovell has turned in six and junior Rachael Bedell has notched four. Dailey has recorded a double-double in seven-straight matches dating back to Iowa’s match at Oakland on Sept. 1. Lovell equaled a career-high with 21 kills against Milwaukee last Friday, to go along with 14 digs.

The Big Ten is represented by seven teams in the AVCA top 25 poll, including two of the top four nationally-ranked squads. The seven teams marks the most of any conference. Defending league champion Nebraska is No. 3 overall, followed by Penn State at No. 4. Minnesota ranks 12th and Purdue sits at No. 17. Other top 25 residents include Illinois (No. 20), the 2011 national runner-up, Ohio State (No. 23) and Michigan State (No. 25). Michigan and Northwestern are receiving votes.

The Hawkeyes have defeated a ranked team in three of Dingman’s four seasons. Iowa will have plenty of opportunities to continue that trend, as seven of its remaining 2012 opponents appear in this week’s 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). The Hawkeyes are 0-1 against ranked foes this season, falling at No. 18 Iowa State on Sept. 7, 3-2. Iowa has two chances this weekend at No. 23 Ohio State and at No. 4 Penn State.

After playing its first four matches at home on Mediacom Court in Carver-Hawkeye Arena at the Hawkeye Challenge (Aug. 24-25), Iowa is concluding a stretch of 11-straight matches away from Iowa City. The Hawkeyes went 1-2 last weekend in the Marquette Invitational after finishing 2-1 at both the Iowa State Challenge and the Oakland Tournament. Iowa opens conference action this weekend at Ohio State and at Penn State before returning to Iowa City on Sept. 28 to face Michigan in their Big Ten home opener. Iowa is 5-1 in neutral site matches and 0-3 in true road matches.

The Hawkeyes finished 2-1 at the Iowa State Challenge, Sept. 7-8, to earn a share of the tournament title. The Hawkeyes opened the tournament with a 3-2 win over Syracuse. Trailing 2-0 at Iowa State later that night, the Hawkeyes rallied to push the match to five sets. The visitors led the fifth set (4-2) before ultimately falling, 3-2, to the 18th-ranked Cyclones. Iowa defeated Eastern Washington in straight-sets to conclude action. Iowa, Syracuse and host Iowa State all finished with 2-1 records after the Orange defeated the Cyclones in the final match of the Iowa State Challenge, 3-2.

Juniors Bethany Yeager and Nikki Dailey have started every match since the start of the 2011 season. Dailey has not missed a set since last season, while Yeager, an Academic All-Big Ten honoree, has only missed one set in her first three seasons at Iowa (282-of-283).

The Hawkeyes hosted the Hawkeye Challenge and made 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).

Senior Allison Straumann and juniors Bethany Yeager and Nikki Dailey were voted team captains for the 2012 season. Straumann, Iowa’s lone senior, has appeared in 51 career matches. Yeager and Dailey have started every match since the beginning of last season.

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).

Iowa returns home next weekend for the first time since hosting the Hawkeye Challenge (Aug. 24-25). Iowa faces Michigan Friday, Sept. 28 and Michigan State Saturday, Sept. 29. Both matches will begin at 7 p.m. inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.