Iowa Closes Tournament Play at 2014 SDSU Challenge


Sept. 10, 2014


2014 SDSU Challenge Notes Get Acrobat Reader

The University of Iowa volleyball team concludes tournament action at the 2014 SDSU Challenge, Sept. 12-13. The Hawkeyes are set to play Eastern Illinois at 10 a.m. (CT) and North Dakota at 5 p.m. on Friday, and Florida International at 10 a.m. and host South Dakota State at 7 p.m. on Saturday. Each match will be played at Frost Arena in Brookings, South Dakota.

Tournament information and results are available at the SDSU Challenge tournament central page at A live stream of every match of the tournament is available for a fee through Jackrabbit Extra, but fans can follow live stats 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. Follow the team’s live Twitter feed, @IowaVB_Live, for more frequent in-match tweets, play-by-play, statistics and more.

? Iowa leads Eastern Illinois, 5-2, all-time. The teams last played on Aug. 31, 2012 at the Golden Grizzly Invitational hosted by Oakland. The Hawkeyes won the match in four sets (32-30, 25-13, 24-26, 25-20).
? The Hawkeyes lead North Dakota, 3-1-1, all-time. Iowa won the last meeting on Nov. 9, 1979 (15-8, 15-10).
? Iowa and Florida International will play for the first time on Saturday.
? Iowa leads South Dakota State, 2-0, all-time. The Hawkeyes topped the Jackrabbits in the last meeting on Aug. 24, 2012 in four sets (27-25, 20-25, 26-24, 25-22).

Two Hawkeyes — junior Erin Radke and freshman Taylin Alm — will play in their home state of South Dakota this weekend. Radke is a native of Sioux Falls and Alm hails from Mitchell.


Heading into week three of the season, the Hawkeyes rank ninth nationally and lead the Big Ten in blocks per set (3.12). Senior middle blocker Alessandra Dietz — Iowa’s blocking leader as a sophomore and junior — paces the team and ranks fourth in the conference with a 1.25 block per set average. Fellow middle blocker, junior Mikaela Gunderson, is 10th in the Big Ten with a 1.15 block per set average. As a team, Iowa is outblocking its opponents 62.5 to 48 so far this season.

Outside hitter Alex Lovell collected all-tournament team honors for the second-straight weekend after the completion of the Residence Inn Challenge on Sunday. She earned all-tournament team honors along with right side hitter Jess Janota after the Texas A&M Tournament, Aug. 29-30. Middle blocker Alessandra Dietz was also named to the Residence Inn all-tournament team.

The Big Ten is considered the premier volleyball conference and continues to remain a force in Division I athletics. Seven Big Ten teams appeared in the most recent release of the AVCA Division I Coaches Poll (Sept. 8) including No. 3 Penn State, No. 4 Wisconsin, No. 8 Purdue, No. 11 Nebraska, No. 12 Illinois, No. 19 Minnesota and No. 23 Michigan State. Michigan and Northwestern received votes.

? As a team, Iowa ranks ninth nationally in blocks per set (3.13), 31st in team total blocks (62.5), 41st in aces per set (1.70), 78th in kills per set (13.45), and 91st in assists per set (12.35) and team service aces (34).
? Alessandra Dietz is 77th in blocks per set (1.75) and 79th in hitting percentage (.372).
? Alex Lovell ranks 89th in points per set (4.25) and 93rd in kills per set (3.70).
? Alyssa Klostermann is 92nd nationally in aces per set (0.45).

First-year head coach Bond Shymansky owns a career record of 294-111 (.726) and is just six wins from logging his 300th career victory. This is his 13th season as a head coach. He spent the past five seasons (2009-13) at the helm of the Marquette volleyball program and seven seasons before that leading Georgia Tech (2002-09).

Iowa meets Iowa State for the annual Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series match on Saturday, Sept. 20. The 4 p.m. (CT) competition is in Ames, Iowa, this season. The Hawkeyes remain on the road for their Big Ten opening match at Nebraska on Wednesday, Sept. 24 before making their home debut against the Cornhuskers on Saturday, Sept. 27 on Mediacom Court in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Iowa volleyball tickets are on sale now through the UI Athletics Ticket Office. Courtside seats are $60 per seat ($48 for faculty and staff) and general admission tickets are $30 each ($24 for faculty and staff). Fans that purchase general admission seats can choose to the same reserved seats at each match for the same price. Youth can attend matches for free.

Season ticket packages include a t-shirt and access to Chalk Talks with the Iowa coaching staff in the Hadley Club Room 30 minutes before every home match on the first floor of Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Tickets can be purchased online at, by phone at 1-800-IA-HAWKS or in person at the UI Athletics Ticket Office in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

The University of Iowa volleyball team competes live on Big Ten Network (BTN) and BTN Plus 13 times this season. The Hawkeyes’ match against Illinois on Oct. 15 in Iowa City will be televised live on BTN. First serve has been changed from 7 p.m. (CT) to 8 p.m. to accommodate the schedule of the network.

Thirteen Iowa matches will be shown via live stream online through BTN Plus. To see if your cable package gives you access to BTN Plus content, sign up for BTN Plus or learn more about it, visit

Bond Shymansky was named the ninth head coach of the Iowa volleyball program on Jan. 31, 2014. The UI alum and Iowa City, Iowa, native owns a career record of 292-110 (.726) amidst his 13th season.

Shymansky came to Iowa following five seasons (2009-13) at the helm of the Marquette volleyball program, where he guided the Golden Eagles to their first NCAA berth, NCAA victory, and first Big East regular season title. Marquette also won a Big East Tournament Championship, and made three-straight postseason appearances (2011-13).

Shymansky added associate head coach Michaela Franklin and assistant coach Jackie Simpson on Feb. 25, 2014 and completed his staff with the addition of director of operations Danielle Carlson.

The Hawkeye volleyball program has been focused on one moniker since the arrival of head coach Bond Shymansky and his staff. Whether student-athletes are on the court, training in the weight room or learning in the classroom, the Hawkeyes want to be #GreatToday. A major shift in a program can be challenging, but striving for greatness in each area with exceptional effort has been helpful for the group.

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