Iowa Starts Road Swing at Wisconsin, Minnesota


Oct. 20, 2014


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The University of Iowa volleyball team (9-10, 1-7) continues Big Ten action on the road this week. The Hawkeyes play at No. 5 Wisconsin on Wednesday, and at No. 25 Minnesota on Saturday. Each match will begin at 7 p.m. (CT).

Hawkeye fans can watch both matches this week live online through BTN Plus at Live audio by Tim Keating through Hawkeye All Access and Gametracker (live stats) are also available for each match on the volleyball schedule page at

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.


? Wisconsin leads Iowa, 48-20-1, all-time.
? The Hawkeyes have not defeated the Badgers since Nov. 11, 2009, when they defeated the Badgers in five (19-25, 25-17, 25-16, 20-25, 15-8) at home. That same year, Iowa earned a four-set win (25-21, 19-25, 25-22, 25-18) on the road over Wisconsin on Sept. 23.
? Minnesota leads Iowa, 63-12, all-time.
? The Hawkeyes last defeated the Golden Gophers on Sept. 22, 1995, in four sets (7-15, 15-11, 15-4, 15-10) at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

The Hawkeyes earned their first Big Ten victory of the 2014 seasoN last Saturday against Northwestern in five sets (20-25, 25-23, 25-20, 23-25, 15-12). It is the program’s first win over the Wildcats since Oct. 23, 2009, when Iowa defeated Northwestern 3-0 (25-23, 27-25, 25-21) in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

A trio of Hawkeye hitters led the team to victory. Sophomore Lauren Brobst recorded a season-high 20 kills, while freshman Jess Janota and senior Alessandra Dietz added 16 and 11, respectively. It was the first conference win for first-year head coach Bond Shymansky and his staff of associate head coach Michaela Franklin, assistant coach Jackie Simpson and director of operations Danielle Carlson.

Sophomore Lauren Brobst has emerged as the Hawkeyes’ go-to terminator in Big Ten action. The outside hitter has led the team in kills in seven-straight matches (9 vs. Nebraska, 6 vs. Ohio State, 9 vs. Penn State, 15 at Michigan, 13 at Michigan State, 18 vs. Illinois and 20 vs. Northwestern). Her most recent 20-kill performance is a season-high. Overall in the stretch, she has compiled a total of 90 kills (3.60 per set) and a .268 attack percentage to pace the Hawkeye offense.

Iowa reached the fifth set for the first time in the 2014 season in consecutive matches at home last week. On Wednesday, the Hawkeyes forced a fifth, deciding set with No. 15-ranked Illinois with a 25-19 win in the fourth set, but ultimately fell to the Illini, 3-2. Northwestern sent the Saturday match to five sets with a 25-23 win in the fourth, but the Hawkeyes were victorious after a 15-12 set five win over the Wildcats. It marked the first Big Ten win for Iowa in 2014 and the new coaching staff.

First-year head coach Bond Shymansky owns a career record of 299-119 (.715) and is just one win away from logging his 300th career victory following Iowa’s 3-2 win over Northwestern on Oct. 18. 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 leading Georgia Tech (2002-09).

Several Hawkeyes will be playing in their home states this week. Emily Yanny (New Berlin), Mikaela Gunderson (Casco) and Michelle Fugarino (Muskego) hail from Wisconsin, while Julianne Blomberg (Chanhassen) is a native of Minnesota.

Iowa assistant coach Jackie Simpson also has ties to Wisconsin, as she was a setter for the Badgers from 2004-07. She led the Badgers to the Elite Eight twice and the Sweet Sixteen once, was a two-time AVCA All-Mideast Region honoree, a two-time first team All-Big Ten selection, and an AVCA Second Team All-American. The Downers Grove, Illinois, native ended her career second all-time at Wisconsin and 17th all-time in the Big Ten in assists, and 12th all-time at Wisconsin in blocks.

Seven Big Ten institutions appear in the most recent release (Oct. 20) of the AVCA Division I Coaches Poll, including No. 5 Wisconsin, No. 7 Penn State, No. 10 Illinois, No. 13 Purdue, No. 14 Nebraska, No. 20 Ohio State and No. 25 Minnesota. Michigan (10) is receiving votes.

? Iowa occupies 12th in the Big Ten standings with a record of 1-7 heading into Week 5 of the conference season. The Hawkeyes are ahead of Maryland and Rutgers (0-8).
? Senior Alessandra Dietz ranks eighth in the Big Ten in service aces per set (0.28) and 12th in hitting percentage (.324).
? Sophomore Alyssa Klostermann ranks 13th in the conference in assists per set (5.87) and 14th in service aces per set (0.25).
? Freshman Michelle Fugarino is eighth in digs per set (4.00) and ranks second among all freshmen in the league.
? Freshman Kaylee Smith ranks 14th in assists per set (5.86).

Iowa continues its road swing with matches at Maryland on Oct. 31 and Rutgers on Nov. 1. Both matches are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. (CT). Hawkeye fans can watch the match at Maryland live online through BTN Plus available at

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 299-119 (.715) 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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