Iowa Challenges In-state Rival Iowa State

Sept. 20, 2013


The University of Iowa volleyball team will take on Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk series rival No. 25 Iowa State on Saturday, Sept. 21 on Mediacom Court in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. First serve is slated for 7 p.m. CT. It is a Blackout match, so fans should wear. The first 250 fans in the door will receive a complimentary black Iowa volleyball t-shirt. The Hawkeyes will sign autographs following the match.

Iowa State leads Iowa in the all-time series 23-21. In their last meeting, the Cyclones defeated the Hawkeyes in five sets 3-2. Iowa volleyball’s last win against Iowa State occurred on Sept. 13, 1997. The Hawkeyes trumped the Cyclones 3-0.

Hawkeye volleyball fans can keep up with the match at through Gametracker or All-Access live video on Play-by-play audio will accompany the live video feed on All-Access.

Of the 32 total student athletes that will be on the court Saturday night, 11 hail from the state of Iowa. Five members of the Hawkeye roster–Kari Mueller, Katie Kelley, Alli O’Deen, Alyssa Klostermann and Lauren Brobst–all play in their home state. Six of Iowa State’s 14 student athletes are from Iowa.

Big 12 conference member and rival Iowa State brings a record of 5-4 and a No. 25 national ranking into the Saturday evening match in Iowa City. The Cyclone roster consists of five freshmen, five sophomores, two juniors and two seniors. Head coach Christy Johnson-Lynch is in her seventh year at the helm of the program. Associate head coach Dawn Sullivan and assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Jon Newman-Gonchar are also on staff. Mackenzie Bigbee and Ciara Capezio pace the Cyclones in kills with 98 (3.16 per set) and 91 (2.94 per set), respectively. Jenelle Hudson has a team-most 359 assists (11.22 per set), while Kristen Hahn leads the team in digs with 175 (5.47 per set). Tenisha Matlock has a team-high 23 blocks on the season (0.72 per set). As a team, Iowa State owns a .236 hitting percentage and averages 13.78 kills per set.

Iowa volleyball will break in its new Taraflex Sport M Plus floor against Iowa State this Saturday. Iowa is just one of six total teams in the country to play on the Olympic volleyball surface of choice since 1976.

Hawkeye volleyball owns a perfect 3-0 record in five set matches this season. The team’s five set wins occurred against Wofford on Aug. 30, Youngstown State on Aug. 31 and Milwaukee on Sept. 17.

The Hawkeyes have defeated a ranked team in four of Dingman’s five seasons. Iowa will have plenty of opportunities to continue that trend starting with its matchup against No. 25 Iowa State on Mediacom court in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sept. 21. Iowa’s top 25 victories since 2008 include: No. 18 Wisconsin (3-0, 2008); No. 18 Michigan State (3-0, 2009); No. 16 Michigan (3-0, 2010); No. 12 Purdue (3-0, 2012).

The Hawkeyes rank within the top 100 nationally in several categories, according to the most recent release from the NCAA on Sept. 16. Iowa is 11th in digs per set (17.59), 61st in service aces per set (1.56), 74th in assists per set (12.59) and 83rd in kills per set (13.34). Bethany Yeager ranks 61st in digs per set (4.71), while Alex Lovell is 67th in kills per set (3.78) and 91st in points per set (4.13).

The latest release of the AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25 Poll on Sept. 14, 2013 included eight Big Ten Conference affiliates. Penn State obtained the No. 1 ranking, while No. 9 Minnesota and No. 10 Michigan were included in the top 10. Rounding out the poll were No. 12 Nebraska, No. 13 Ohio State, No. 14 Michigan State, No. 16 Illinois and No. 21 Purdue. Wisconsin dropped out of the poll, but still received votes in week three.

Following this Saturday’s match against Iowa State, Iowa volleyball opens Big Ten play. The Hawkeyes begin on the road with matches at Illinois and Northwestern before returning to Iowa City for a pair against Wisconsin and Minnesota. Iowa is scheduled to be home every other weekend and will face each Big Ten team twice, except for Penn State and Ohio State.

To keep up with everything Iowa volleyball, like University of Iowa Volleyball on Facebook and follow @IowaVolleyball on Twitter. Be sure to also 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 ranks fifth in Big Ten Standings with a 9-2 record as of Sept. 17, 2013. The Hawkeyes pace the conference in digs with a 17.59 per set average and are fourth with a 1.56 service ace per set average. The team is seventh in assists averaging 12.54 per set and ranks eighth in kills with a 13.34 per set average.

Rachael Bedell and Alyssa Klostermann were named to the Hawkeye Challenge All-Tournament team for their efforts on the court in Iowa’s four home matches on Sept. 13-14. Others earning all-tournament recognition this season include: Alessandra Dietz (Chanticleer Invitational and Valpo Popcorn Classic) and Alex Lovell (Valpo Popcorn Classic). Dietz was also named most valuable player of the Chanticleer Invitational.

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. Yeager’s award marks Iowa’s first Defensive Player of the Week honor since Christina Meister received the nod in 2009.