Hawkeyes to Open Regular Season at Chanticleer Invitational

Aug 28, 2013


The University of Iowa volleyball team opens the 2013 regular season on the road at the Chanticleer Invitational in Conway, S.C. this weekend. The Hawkeyes open with a single match on Friday against Wofford (7:30 p.m. CT) and conclude play on Saturday with matches against Youngstown State (12:30 p.m. CT) and host Coastal Carolina (6 p.m. CT).

Friday, Aug. 30
7:30 p.m. Iowa vs. Wofford
Saturday, Aug. 31
12:30 p.m. Iowa vs. Youngstown State
6 p.m. Iowa at Coastal Carolina

Fans can follow all Hawkeye volleyball action at the Chanticleer Invitational with Gametracker available at goccusports.com. Live video of Saturday night’s match against host Coastal Carolina will be streamed live at bigsouthsports.com/schedule.

For an inside look at the Iowa Volleyball program and to access exclusive coverage, like University of Iowa Volleyball on Facebook and follow @IowaVolleyball on Twitter. Be sure to follow the team’s new live Twitter feed, @IowaVB_Live, for more frequent in-match tweets, play-by-play, statistics and more. Don’t forget to use #IowaVB.

With head coach Sharon Dingman at the helm, Iowa volleyball is 5-0 in season openers. Three of the wins were recorded at home in Carver-Hawkeye Arena and two were accomplished on the road. Iowa is 24-12 in season openers since 1977 and has not fallen in a season opener since 2007 (vs. BYU 3-2).

The Hawkeyes are 1-0 against Chanticleer Invitational host Coastal Carolina, defeating the Chants 3-0 in 2005. This weekend’s matches mark Iowa’s first meetings with Wofford and Youngstown State.

Wofford is a member of the Southern Conference. In 2012, the Terriers posted an overall record of 15-14 and finished fifth in the SoCon with a 5-11 record. Wofford returns three starters and six letterwinners to its 2013 roster and has added five newcomers. First year head coach Ron Sweet is at the helm and he is assisted by Ari Smith. The Terrier roster consists of five seniors, two juniors, two sophomores and four freshmen, including 2012 kills leader Amanda Ligouri (317), assists leader Bekah Dorsey (839) and blocks leader Wendy Burnett (105).

Horizon League member Youngstown State was 15-14 overall in 2012 with a 5-9 conference showing. The Penguins return 13 from 2012, including seven seniors, two juniors and four sophomores, and add two freshmen. Youngstown State brings back its top seven in kills, led by Missy Hundelt (369), leader in assists (736) and service aces (23) Casey D’Ambrose, digs leader Erika West (404), and blocks leader Jenna Cavanaugh (115). The Penguins are led by second year head coach Mark Hardaway who is assisted by Jasmine Fullove and Natalie Borland.

Chanticleer Invitational host Coastal Carolina is a member of the Big South Conference. In 2012, Coastal Carolina was 14-14 overall and 10-4 in conference play. The Chants return their top nine in kills, led by Gabriella Horvath (348), leader in blocks (99) and service aces (33) Kindra Bailey, assists leader Lauren Alejo (1008), and digs leader Jenna Orner (314). The 2013 roster consists of five seniors, four juniors, four sophomores and four freshmen. Head coach Jozsef Forman is in his second season and is assisted by Gabe Aramian and Abbey Worrell.

Season tickets remain on sale through the UI Ticket Office. Season tickets are two-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.

Iowa opens the 2013 season on the road with two weekend tournaments, the Chanticleer Invitational in Conway, S.C. and the Valparaiso Tournament in Valparaiso, Ind., before returning home to host the annual Hawkeye Challenge in Carver-Hawkeye Arena, Sept. 13-14. Following a match at Milwaukee and a match against Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk series rival Iowa State at home (Sept. 21), the Hawkeyes open Big Ten Conference play. Iowa will face each member of the Big Ten twice in 2013 with the exception of Ohio State and Penn State. The Hawkeyes will play 32 matches in the regular season with 15 at home on Mediacom Court in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Seven Iowa volleyball regular season contests will be available via live coverage during the 2013 season. The Hawkeyes’ matches against Wisconsin on Oct. 2 and at Nebraska on Oct. 23 will be shown on the Big Ten Network, while five other contests will be streamed on BTN.com.

When the AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25 Poll was released on Aug. 12, it was no surprise that the Big Ten was well-represented. A total of seven teams received a spot among the top 25, led by No. 2 Penn State, while two more in Illinois and Wisconsin received votes. No. 6 Minnesota, No. 7 Michigan and No. 10 Nebraska joined the Nitany Lions in the top 10. No. 14 Michigan State, No. 16 Purdue and No. 23 Ohio State also made the preseason poll cut.

Senior libero Bethany Yeager has started every match of her career thus far, while senior setter Nikki Daily has started each match of her sophomore and junior seasons. Junior Alex Lovell started every match of the season in 2012 and has appeared in each match of her career thus far. The outside hitter has led Iowa volleyball in kills as a sophomore (382) and a freshman (312), and became the program’s first Big Ten Player of the Week honoree since 2006 on Oct. 8 after wins at Indiana and No. 12 Purdue.

Iowa volleyball returns its top two in kills, junior Alex Lovell (382) and senior Rachael Bedell (339). Senior Nikki Dailey paced the squad in assists in 2012 with 1,103 and is sixth in career digs entering her final season. Fellow senior Bethany Yeager posted 533 digs last season to lead the Hawkeyes and enters her last year ranked fifth in career digs. Junior Alessandra Dietz led Iowa in several categories in 2012, including attack percentage (.234), blocks (81), and service aces (25).

The Hawkeyes have defeated a ranked team in four of Dingman’s five seasons. Iowa will have plenty of opportunities to continue that trend, as eight of its 2013 opponents appear in the AVCA top 25 preseason 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); at No. 12 Purdue (3-0, 2012).