Iowa Volleyball Continues Road Swing at Valpo Popcorn Classic

Sep 5, 2013


The University of Iowa volleyball team opens the Valpo Popcorn Classic with a match against Rhode Island on Friday at 4:30 p.m. CT. The Hawkeyes close the weekend with a pair of matches on Saturday against Eastern Michigan at 2 p.m. CT and host Valparaiso at 7 p.m. CT. UI brings a 3-0 mark into the tournament.

Fans can follow all Hawkeye volleyball action at the Valpo Popcorn Classic through Gametracker available at Iowa’s match against tournament host Valparaiso will be streamed live at Fans can view the match free of charge.

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.

Iowa volleyball posted a perfect 3-0 record and clinched the Chanticleer Invitational title to open the 2013 season last weekend. It marked the sixth time since 1977 that the Hawkeyes went undefeated in a season-opening tournament. It is the ninth time UI has had at least a 3-0 start to a season.

The Hawkeyes have a 2-0 all-time record against Valparaiso and a 4-2 mark against Eastern Michigan. This Friday’s match against Rhode Island is the first meeting between the two teams.

Rhode Island is a member of the Atlantic 10 conference and brings a 2-1 mark into this weekend’s action. The Rams are led by 32nd year head coach Bob Schneck, associate head coach Steve Santonastaso, and assistant Caitlyn Welsh. The roster consists of three seniors, three juniors, three sophomores, and four freshmen. Franki Darnold paces the Rams with 34 kills, while Catie Steffen has a team-high 4.00 kills per set average. Callan Kinnan has a team-most 100 assists (11.11 per set), and Cate Seman has 33 digs for a team high 3.30 digs per set. Layne Self leads the squad in blocks with nine for a 1.29 block per set average. On the season Rhode Island is hitting .242 and averages 14.45 kills per set.

Mid-American Conference member Eastern Michigan is an even 2-2 on the season heading into the weekend tournament. The Eagle roster consists of two seniors, three juniors, seven sophomores, and two freshmen. Head coach Kim Barrington is in her 18th season at the helm and is assisted by John Kessenich and Nicasio Paquiz, Jr. Paige Roback has a team high 59 kills (3.28 per set) followed by Stacey Perinar with 58 kills (3.22 per set). Corynne Smith paces the team with 83 digs (4.61 per set), Alyssa Davis has a team-most 134 assists (7.44 per set), and Kelsey Jones has a team high 22 blocks (1.22 per set). The team is hitting .179 on the season and averages 12.8 kills per set.

Valpo Popcorn Classic host Valparaiso, a Horizon League member, brings a perfect 4-0 mark into tournament play. The Crusaders are led by 14th year head coach Karen Avery and her assistant Craig Cromwell. The roster is made up of five seniors, three juniors, two sophomores, and seven freshmen. Sarah Dooms has a team high 31 kills (3.10 per set), while Kelsey Berrington leads the squad in assists with 72 (5.14 per set) and service aces with seven (0.50 per set). Morganne Langoria paces the team in digs with 38 (3.17 per set), and Kelsey Victor and Ellen Vanden Berg have a team-most 11 blocks (0.92 per set) apiece. The Crusaders have a .270 hitting percentage thus far and average 12.4 kills per set.

Senior libero Bethany Yeager earned the first Big Ten weekly honor of her career when she was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week on Monday, Sept. 2. She helped the Hawkeyes accomplish a 3-0 mark and Chanticleer Invitational championship opening weekend. Yeager paced the team in digs in each match tallying 26 against Wofford, 30 against Youngstown State, and 23 against Coastal Carolina. Her 79 digs and 5.64 digs per set average top the Big Ten following week one. Yeager’s award marks Iowa’s first Defensive Player of the Week honor since Christina Meister received the nod in 2009.

Junior middle Alessandra Dietz was the lone Hawkeye named to the all-tournament team at the Chanticleer Invitational. For her efforts on the court, she was named most valuable player of the tournament. Dietz posted a career-high in kills in the first two matches of the 2013 season, including a 14 kill performance against Wofford and a 19 kill effort against Youngstown State. She hit a dominating .500 in the opener and .457 in match two. She wrapped the weekend with an eight kill performance against Coastal Carolina. After week one of play, Dietz owns a .397 attack percentage and 2.93 kills per set.

A pair of Hawkeye freshmen made an immediate impact on opening weekend. Setter Alyssa Klostermann appeared in every set for Iowa, contributing 60 assists (4.29 per set) and notching a team-most four service aces (0.29 per set average). She also posted 33 digs for a 2.36 digs per set average. Outside hitter Lauren Brobst played in 12 sets for the Hawkeyes. Her 23 kill performance in the opening win against Wofford paced the team and she hit .436 in the match.

After week one of regular season action, the Big Ten added a team to the AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25 Poll released on Sept. 2. Illinois, who was previously not ranked, was the No. 18 team on the list, while Penn State moved from the second spot to its first No. 1 ranking of the season. Remaining in the top 25 included No. 4 Minnesota, No. 7 Michigan, No. 13 Nebraska, No. 20 Michigan State, No. 22 Purdue, and No. 23 Ohio State.

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 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