Volleyball Set for Final Road Weekend

Nov. 13, 2012

Complete Iowa Notes

The University of Iowa volleyball team (10-19, 2-14) continues Big Ten action this week, traveling to Wisconsin (16-13, 4-12) and No. 14 Minnesota (20-7, 11-5) in its final league road weekend. The Hawkeyes and Badgers will meet Friday night at 7:30 p.m. (CT) at the Wisconsin Field House in Madison, Wis. The Hawkeyes and Gophers will square off Saturday at 6:30 p.m. (CT) at the Sports Pavilion in Minneapolis, Minn. The match against the Gophers can be seen live on BTN.com.

Iowa’s match against the Gophers will be broadcast live on BTN.com. The Hawkeyes’ season finale against Illinois (Nov. 24) can be seen on Mediacom (MC22).

Remaining Live Coverage Schedule:
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 on Nov. 2 marked Sharon Dingman’s 700th as a head coach. Her career record stands at 391-312 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.

Head Coach: Pete Waite (304-144, 14th season)
2012 Record/Home/Conference: 16-13 overall/5-5/4-12
Series Record/Last Meeting: Wis. leads, 46-20-1/Oct. 13, Wisconsin (3-2)
Take Note: Friday is senior night; in midst of five-match losing streak

Head Coach: Hugh McCutcheon (20-7, 1st season)
2012 Record/Home/Conference: 20-7 overall/11-1/11-5
Series Record/Last Meeting: Minn. leads 60-12/Oct. 12, Minnesota (3-1)
Take Note: 7-5 vs. ranked opponents; lone home loss to No. 1 Penn State

Iowa hosted Minnesota on Oct. 12 and started strong before falling, 3-1 (24-26, 25-18, 15-25, 17-25). Rachael Bedell and Alex Lovell led the Hawkeyes with 11 kills each. Bethany Yeager totaled 17 digs, Allison Straumann picked up a career-high 16 digs and Nikki Dailey dished 39 assists.

The Hawkeyes fell in five sets to Wisconsin on Oct. 13 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Bethany Yeager registered a team-high 20 digs. Nikki Dailey paced all with a season-best 53 assists and added 11 digs for her 14th double-double of the season. Alex Lovell notched her eighth double-double with a team-best 19 kills and 11 digs. Allison Straumann equaled a career-best 16 digs and Kari Mueller equaled a season high with 10 digs.


The Hawkeyes (10-19, 2-14) have four contests remaining. After playing its final road doubleheader this weekend, Iowa will travel to Nebraska next Wednesday before hosting Illinois in the season finale on Nov. 24. 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).

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 494 digs (4.62/set) and sits fifth in program history with 1,483 career digs.

Nikki Dailey ranks sixth in career assists (2,463) and stands ninth in league assists (9.39/set) this season. The junior has led Iowa in assists in every match this season. Dailey is one of six players in the Big Ten to eclipse 1,000 assists this season.

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 14th, Ohio State sits at No. 15 and Purdue ranks 21st. Michigan State and Michigan are both receiving votes.

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. Two of Iowa’s remaining 2012 opponents appear in this week’s AVCA top 25 poll (No. 14 Minnesota, No. 9 Nebraska).

After playing seven of their last 10 at home, the Hawkeyes will conclude the season with three of four on the road. Prior to the home stretch, Iowa played 13 of 15 matches away from Iowa City. The Hawkeyes are 3-10 at home, 5-1 in neutral site matches and 2-8 in true road matches.

Friday’s match against Wisconsin marks the 17th contest of Iowa’s 20-match conference slate, and eighth of 10 conference road 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.

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 339 kills. Dailey has registered 1005 assists and 24 service aces. Yeager leads Iowa with 494 digs.

Three Hawkeyes have registered a double-double in 2012. Junior Nikki Dailey leads the way with 17 double-doubles, eclipsing her team-best total of 14 a season ago. She has turned in eight double-doubles in league action. Sophomore Alex Lovell has turned in eight and junior Rachael Bedell has notched six.

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 67 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 (335-of-337).

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.

At Michigan State (Nov. 2), 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 (Nov. 3), recording 10 kills.

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 26 contests and is third on the team with 178 kills. Kelley has seen action in 21 matches. Blomberg and Yanda have played in nine, and eight 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 concludes action next week, playing at No. 9 Nebraska on Wednesday, Nov. 21 (7 p.m. CT) and hosting Illinois on Saturday, Nov. 24 (7 p.m.). The match against the Illini will be televised live on Mediacom. Iowa will honor senior Allison Straumann.