Volleyball Ready for B1G Home Opener

Sept. 26, 2012

Complete Iowa Notes

The University of Iowa volleyball team opens its Big Ten home schedule this weekend. The Hawkeyes (8-7, 0-2) host Michigan on Friday and No. 24 Michigan State on Saturday. Both matches will begin at 7 p.m. on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Friday’s match against the Wolverines can be seen live on BTN.com.

Friday’s match against Michigan marks the second of 10 Hawkeye matches that will be available via live coverage during the season. The contest can be seen live on BTN.com. The Hawkeyes’ matches at Northwestern on Oct. 21 and against Penn State on Oct. 24 will be shown on BTN, while eight other contests will be streamed on BTN.com.

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

Friday’s match against Michigan marks the third contest of Iowa’s 20-match conference slate, and first of 10 conference home contests. 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 another is receiving votes. Big Ten teams finished with a combined 114-25 nonconference record.

Fans can follow Hawkeye volleyball at hawkeyesports.com, 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 hawkeyesports.com for links to Gametracker and the live blog.

The Last Meeting
Michigan 3
Iowa 2
November 5, 2011
Iowa City, Iowa
Hawkeyes Fall Short of Upset, Michigan wins 3-2
The University of Iowa volleyball team fell just short of upsetting No. 23 Michigan tonight in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Michigan rallied from a 2-1 set deficit to steal the 3-2 win from the Hawkeyes (25-16, 18-25, 21-25, 25-22, 15-9). Iowa had three players earn double-doubles, five players reach double-digit digs, and four players reach double-digit kills in the loss.

The Last Meeting
Michigan State 3
Iowa 0
November 4, 2011
Iowa City, Iowa
Hawkeyes Fall to Michigan State, 3-0
The University of Iowa volleyball team fell to Michigan State, 3-0, inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena tonight (25-18, 25-12, 25-21). Michigan State used a .350 hitting percentage and out-blocked the Hawkeyes 6-3 to earn the straight set victory. Senior Tiffany Nilges paced the Hawkeyes’ balanced effort with eight kills. Freshman Alex Lovell put down seven kills and sophomore Nikki Dailey dished out 25 assists.

Fans in attendance will receive free schedule posters and magnets. The first 50 UI students with valid ID at the evening match will be awarded free ice cream. There will be free food for students at each Friday match throughout the season.

Saturday’s match has been designated as Camper Reunion Night. Fans are also encouraged to use their football ticket stub from Iowa’s game against Minnesota for free admission to Saturday night’s match. A Kids Zone will also be available featuring giant board games.

MICHIGAN (Sept. 28)
Head Coach: Mark Rosen (274-168, 14th season)
2012 Record/Road/Conference: 13-3 overall; 1-1; 1-1
Series Record/Last Meeting: Michigan leads, 33-24/2011, Michigan (3-0, 3-2)
Take Note: Advanced to 2011 NCAA Sweet 16; finished 22-13

#24 MICHIGAN STATE (Sept. 29)
Head Coach: Cathy George (134-105, 8th season)
2012 Record/Road/Conference: 13-1 overall; 2-0; 1-1
Series Record/Last Meeting: MSU leads, 38-24/2011, MSU (3-0, 3-0)
Take Note: Advanced to 2011 NCAA second round; finished 22-12

Iowa opened its Big Ten slate last weekend at No. 23 Ohio State and No. 4 Penn State. The Hawkeyes fell to the Buckeyes in Columbus, Ohio, on Friday, 3-0, before dropping a 3-1 decision to the Nittany Lions in State College, Pa., on Saturday. Entering the contest, the Nittany Lions had only dropped six sets in 12 matches. Penn State has dropped sets to No. 9 Stanford (W, 3-2), Oregon State (L, 2-3) and No. 3 Nebraska (W, 3-1). The Nittany Lions swept second-ranked Texas. Penn State moved to No. 1 in the national rankings this week, following wins over Iowa and Nebraska.

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 300 total digs and tied for first in digs per set (4.92). The Brenham, Texas, native stands in sixth at Iowa in career digs (1,289). Fellow junior Nikki Dailey ranks seventh in career assists (2,043) and stands at eighth in league assists (9.59/set).

The Hawkeyes have not played a home match in over a month. After playing its first four matches at home on Mediacom Court in Carver-Hawkeye Arena at the Hawkeye Challenge (Aug. 24-25), Iowa concluded a stretch of 11-straight matches away from Iowa City last weekend at Ohio State and at Penn State. The Hawkeyes traveled to the Golden Grizzly Invitational, the Iowa State Challenge and the Marquette Invitational before opening league play on the road. Iowa is 5-1 in neutral site matches and 0-5 in true road matches.

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 (289-of-290).

Three Hawkeyes have registered a double-double in 2012. Junior Nikki Dailey leads the way with 10 double-doubles. Sophomore Alex Lovell has turned in six and junior Rachael Bedell has notched four. Dailey has recorded a double-double in eight of the last nine matches, dating back to Iowa’s match at Oakland on Sept. 1.

The Big Ten is represented by seven teams in the AVCA top 25 poll, including the nation’s top-ranked team, Penn State. The seven teams marks the most of any conference. Defending league champion Nebraska is No. 6 overall. Minnesota ranks 10th and Purdue sits at No. 13. Other top 25 residents include Illinois (No. 21), the 2011 national runner-up, Ohio State (No. 22) and Michigan State (No. 24). Michigan is 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 0-3 against ranked foes this season, falling at No. 18 Iowa State (3-2), at No. 23 Ohio State (3-0) and at No. 4 Penn State (3-1). Iowa has another chance this weekend to defeat a ranked foe, hosting No. 24 Michigan State Saturday.

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 53 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 hawkeyesports.com to place your season ticket order.

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

Iowa hits the road to continue Big Ten action next weekend. The Hawkeyes play at Indiana on Friday, Oct. 5 and at No. 13 Purdue on Saturday, Oct. 6. Fans can listen to both matches on hawkeyesports.com. In addition, fans can listen to the Purdue match on AM-800 KXIC.