Hawkeyes Set to Host Purdue, Indiana

Nov. 6, 2012

Complete Iowa Notes

The University of Iowa volleyball team (10-17, 2-12) continues Big Ten action this week, hosting No. 21 Purdue (18-7, 9-5) on Thursday and Indiana (11-15, 3-11) on Saturday. Both matches will begin at 7 p.m. on Mediacom Court at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The match against the Boilermakers can be seen live on BTN.com and Mediacom (MC22).

Iowa’s match against the Boilermakers will be broadcast live on Mediacom (MC22) and BTN.com. The Hawkeyes contest at Minnesota (Nov. 17) will be streamed live on BTN.com and Iowa’s season finale against Illinois (Nov. 24) can be seen on Mediacom (MC22).

Remaining Live Coverage Schedule:
Nov. 8 – vs. Purdue (MC22, BTN.com)
Nov. 17 – at Minnesota (BTN.com)
Nov. 24 – vs. Illinois (MC22)

Fans can follow Hawkeye volleyball at AM-800 KXIC or 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 stream every Big Ten contest this season. Both matches this week will be available at hawkeyesports.com.

Iowa’s match at Michigan State last Friday marked Sharon Dingman’s 700th as a head coach. Her career record stands at 391-310 in 22 seasons.

Live blogging and live stats (Gametracker) will be available for both matches this week. Hawkeye manager Libbie Hillmer hosts the live blog, providing scoring updates and interactive content from the Official Iowa Volleyball Blog. Visit the Iowa volleyball page at hawkeyesports.com for links to Gametracker and the live blog.

The Hawkeyes dropped two matches in the state of Michigan last week. Iowa fell in straight sets at Michigan State on Friday night (20-25, 16-25, 18-25) before dropping a 3-0 decision at Michigan on Saturday night (19-25, 10-25, 12-25). Against the Spartans, Alex Lovell, a Michigan native, paced Iowa with 12 kills, hitting a career-best .476. Fellow sophomores and Michigan natives Alessandra Dietz and Erin Leppek recorded six and four kills, respectively. Rachael Bedell added seven kills. Junior Nikki Dailey led Iowa with a match-high 28 assists. Classmate Bethany Yeager recorded 14 digs, equaling a match-best. Lovell led Iowa at Michigan, recording 10 kills.

PURDUE (Nov. 8)
Head Coach: Dave Shondell (209-115, 10th season)
2012 Record/Away/Conference: 18-7 overall/7-3/9-5
Series Record/Last Meeting: Purdue leads, 47-20/Oct. 6, Iowa, 3-0
Take Note: Five of seven losses against ranked opponents

INDIANA (Nov. 10)
Head Coach: Sherry Dunbar (92-100, 6th season)
2012 Record/Away/Conference: 11-15 overall/3-6/3-11
Series Record/Last Meeting: IU leads, 37-27/Oct. 5, Iowa, 3-1
Take Note: Split last six matches overall, including wins at Wisconsin and Northwestern

Iowa swept No. 12 Purdue on Oct. 6 (25-23, 25-23, 25-18) in Holloway Gymnasium on the campus of Purdue University to win its second-straight Big Ten match. The victory marked Iowa’s first win at Purdue and first sweep of the Boilermakers since Nov. 10, 2000, when the Hawkeyes won in straight sets. It also marked the fourth win over a ranked foe for head coach Sharon Dingman, and her first victory over a ranked team on the road. No. 12 Purdue is the highest-ranked team the Hawkeyes have defeated during her tenure. In addition, it marked the first time Iowa won two-straight league contests since 2008 and consecutive league road matches since 2005. Junior Nikki Dailey paced Iowa with a match-high 37 assists. Classmate Rachael Bedell recorded her sixth double-double of the season with 11 kills and 13 digs. Sophomore Alex Lovell paced all players with a career-best 24 kills. Junior Bethany Yeager registered a match-high 15 digs. The Hawkeyes turned in a season-high .291 hitting percentage, while limiting Purdue to .212.

Iowa won at Indiana, 3-1, on Oct. 5 to earn its first Big Ten win of the season (25-21, 25-17, 23-25, 25-22) inside University Gym on the campus of Indiana University. Junior Rachael Bedell led all with a career-best 26 kills and sophomore Alex Lovell added 13. Junior Nikki Dailey turned in 43 assists and classmate Bethany Yeager paced all with 20 digs. Senior Allison Straumann registered 12 digs and Bedell added 10 digs to record her fifth double-double of the season. The four set match marked the first time since 2010 the two teams have not gone five frames. Iowa has won three of the last five meetings between the two league foes.

The Hawkeyes (10-15, 2-10) will host two home matches this week for the final time this season. Iowa’s final home match will be played Nov. 24 against Illinois. Iowa has three home contests and three road matches remaining on its conference slate. 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).

Nikki Dailey ranks sixth in career assists (2,414) and stands ninth in league assists (9.47/set) this season. The junior has led Iowa in assists in every match this season.

Thursday night against Purdue, the first 50 students with IDs get free hot dogs. Saturday is Veterans Day and Heroes Day. All military personnel with ID are admitted free. Fans are invited to use their Purdue – Iowa football ticket stub for free admission to the volleyball match. In addition, a Kids Zone featuring giant board games will be available on the concourse for youth.

The Hawkeyes have defeated a ranked team in four of Dingman’s five 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); at No. 12 Purdue (3-0, 2012). The Hawkeyes are 1-9 against ranked foes this season. Iowa swept 12th-ranked Purdue on Oct. 6, 3-0, on the road. The victory marked Dingman’s first win over a ranked foe on the road. No. 12 Purdue is the highest-ranked team the Hawkeyes have defeated during her tenure. Three of Iowa’s remaining 2012 opponents appear in this week’s AVCA top 25 poll (No. 21 Purdue, No. 10 Minnesota, No. 9 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. Yeager registered a team-high 20 digs on Oct. 13 against Wisconsin to pass Kari Hamel for fifth all-time in program history with 1,388 in her career. On Oct. 21 at Northwestern, Yeager turned in 11 digs to become the fifth Hawkeye in program history to eclipse 1,400 career digs. The Brenham, Texas, native is second in the Big Ten with 458 digs (4.53/set). She is one of three players in the league with 400 or more digs.

The Hawkeyes play both matches at Carver-Hawkeye Arena this week, and have played seven of their last 10 at home. Prior to the home stretch, Iowa played 13 of 15 matches away from Iowa City. The Hawkeyes are 3-8 at home, 5-1 in neutral site matches and 2-8 in true road matches.

Friday’s match against Michigan State marks the 15th contest of Iowa’s 20-match conference slate, and eighth 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. Five league teams are currently ranked in the top 25 (out of 328 Division I programs). Big Ten teams finished with a combined 114-25 nonconference record.

The Big Ten is represented by five teams in the AVCA top 25 poll. The five teams equal the most of any conference. Penn State ranks second and defending league champion Nebraska is No. 9 overall. Minnesota ranks 10th, Ohio State sits at No. 15 and Purdue ranks 21st.

In 2011, 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. All three are leading the same respective categories this season. Lovell is pacing the Hawkeyes with 317 kills. Dailey has registered 956 assists and 22 service aces. Yeager leads Iowa with 458 digs.

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 65 career matches. Yeager and Dailey have started every match since the beginning of last season.

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 two-plus seasons at Iowa (329-of-330).

Three Hawkeyes have registered a double-double in 2012. Junior Nikki Dailey leads the way with 16 double-doubles, eclipsing her team-best total of 14 a season ago. She has turned in seven double-doubles in league action. Sophomore Alex Lovell has turned in eight and junior Rachael Bedell has notched six.

Hawkeye sophomores Alessandra Dietz, Erin Leppek and Alex Lovell hail from the state of Michigan. Dietz and Lovell were high school teammates (2007-10) at Marian High School in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. The two led Marian to three division championships from 2008-10 and a pair of state titles in 2009 and 2010. Dietz and Lovell played club volleyball with sophomore Erin Leppek. The trio led the 17 team to a national title at the 2010 USA Volleyball National Championships and a fifth place finish at the AAU National Championships.

The Hawkeyes won at Indiana on Oct. 5, 3-1, and at 12th-ranked Purdue on Oct. 6, 3-0, to earn their first conference wins of the season. The victory in West Lafayette, Ind., marked Iowa’s first win at Purdue and first sweep of the Boilermakers since Nov. 10, 2000. It also marked the fourth win over a ranked foe for head coach Sharon Dingman, and her first victory over a ranked team on the road. No. 12 Purdue is the highest-ranked team the Hawkeyes have defeated during her tenure. It also marked the first time Iowa has won two-straight league contests since 2008 and consecutive league road matches since 2005.

Alex Lovell was named Big Ten Player of the Week on Oct. 8 for her efforts in Iowa’s two road victories. It marked Iowa’s first Player of the Week honor since Sept. 18, 2006, when Melanie Meister received the recognition. It was also the Hawkeyes’ first weekly honor since Christina Meister was tabbed Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 7, 2009. The Leonard, Mich., native equaled junior Rachael Bedell with a team-best 37 kills in the two wins. Lovell hit a team-high .297 and added three aces and 14 digs. She turned in 41 points, averaging 5.29 kills per set. At Indiana, she tallied 13 kills, two service aces and eight digs in the four-set win, Iowa’s first league victory of the season. In the win over the 12th-ranked Boilermakers, Lovell registered a career-best and match-high 24 kills to go along with an ace and six digs.

Iowa and Nebraska played in front of a crowd of 1,719 on Oct. 17 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, the 10th largest in program history. Since head coach Sharon Dingman’s arrival in 2008, the Hawkeyes have experienced nine of the school’s top 10 all-time attendance figures, and 18 of the top 21. On November 11, 2009, the Hawkeyes eclipsed the 3,000 mark for the first time in program history when 3,102 fans saw Iowa host top-ranked Penn State.

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). Five newcomers — Dietz, Kelley, Yanda, Radke, Blomberg — have seen action in 2012. Dietz has started the last 24 contests and ranks fourth on the team with 167 kills. Kelley has seen action in 21 matches. Blomberg and Yanda have played in seven, and six contests, respectively. Radke competed in 17 matches this season, with 10 starts, before suffering an ACL injury.

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.

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) and YouTube (youtube.com/uiowavolleyball).

Iowa continues league action on the road next weekend at Wisconsin (Nov. 16) and at Minnesota (Nov. 17). The match against the Gophers will be televised live on BTN.com.