Iowa Rides 4-Match Win Streak into Week 12


Nov. 11, 2014


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The University of Iowa volleyball team (13-12, 5-9) travels to face No. 6 Penn State (24-3, 12-2) at 6 p.m. (CT) Wednesday, before returning to Iowa City for a home contest against No. 4 Wisconsin (22-2, 13-1) at 7 p.m. Saturday. The Hawkeyes enter the 12th week of the regular season on a four-match win streak.

Hawkeye fans can watch this week’s action live online through BTN Plus at Links to live audio by Tim Keating through Hawkeye All-Access and Gametracker (live stats) are also available for both matches 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.

? Penn State leads Iowa, 47-0, all-time.
? Iowa fell to Penn State, 3-0, at home earlier this season on Oct. 4.
? The Hawkeyes and Nittany Lions played for the first time on Oct. 18, 1991.
? Wisconsin leads Iowa, 49-20-1, all-time.
? The Badgers defeated Iowa, 3-0, on the road earlier this season on Oct. 22.
? The Hawkeyes last defeated Wisconsin in 2009. Iowa topped the Badgers (3-1) on the road on Sept. 23, and recorded the sweep with a (3-2) win at home on Nov. 11.


An Iowa victory over Penn State would mark the first for the program over the Nittany Lions and extend the team’s win streak to five-straight in Big Ten play — the most for the program since 1994 when Iowa won eight in a row and clinched a berth to the NCAA Tournament. It would also improve the Hawkeyes to 6-9 in conference action. Six wins would be the most for the program since 2008, when Iowa played to a 6-14 Big Ten mark.

Two wins this week would give Iowa seven wins in the Big Ten regular season, the most for the program since 2000 when the team went 11-9. Head coach Bond Shymansky would be just the second head coach in Iowa volleyball history to post seven wins or more in their first season with the program. Ruth Nelson, who began her tenure as head coach in 1989, guided the Hawkeyes to a 12-6 conference record in her first season.

The Hawkeyes enter Week 12 of the Big Ten schedule on a four-match win streak — the longest since 1994 when Iowa won eight-straight conference contests and clinched a NCAA Tournament berth.

The streak began on the road with wins over Maryland (3-0) and Rutgers (3-1), and continued at home with victories over Indiana (3-2) and No. 12-ranked Purdue (3-1). The win over the Boilermakers was the first ranked win for the program since Oct. 6, 2012, when the Hawkeyes defeated then-ranked No. 12 Purdue (3-0) on the road.

? Iowa enters Week 12 of the season with a 13-12 overall record. The last time the Hawkeyes had a winning record heading into Week 12 was in 2005, when the team possessed a 14-13 record.
? The Hawkeyes own a 5-9 Big Ten record, and are tied for ninth in conference standings with Northwestern, Minnesota and Indiana.
? The last time Iowa had five wins in the Big Ten regular season was in 2009. Iowa closed that season with a 5-15 conference record.
? Junior Julianne Blomberg matched her career-high with seven kills against Indiana and set a new career-best with eight kills in the team’s next match against No. 12 Purdue. Blomberg also set new career-highs with three service aces against Indiana, and 20 digs and 31 total attacks against Purdue.
? After reaching double-digits in kills for the first time in her career with 11 at Rutgers, freshman Taylin Alm did it again in the team’s next contest with 10 kills against Indiana.
? Senior Alessandra Dietz ranks sixth in the Big Ten in service aces per set (0.30) and eighth in hitting percentage (.356).
? Sophomore setter Alyssa Klostermann ranks eighth in the conference in service aces per set (0.29) and 15th in assists per set (5.47). She has led the Hawkeyes in assists in 10-of-25 matches this season.
? Freshman Michelle Fugarino is seventh in the Big Ten and second among freshmen in the league in digs per set (3.99).
? Junior Mikaela Gunderson ranks 12th in the Big Ten in blocks per set (1.08).
? Alm is 15th in the conference and second among freshmen in hitting percentage (.295).
? Freshman Kaylee Smith ranks 14th in the Big Ten in assists per set (5.85). She has led Iowa in assists in 15-of-25 matches.

In matches lasting more than three sets, the Hawkeyes like their chances of securing a win. Iowa volleyball is 7-1 on the season in matches lasting four or five sets. The squad is undefeated in four-set contests (5-0) this season, with victories over UT-San Antonio, Idaho State, Florida International, Rutgers and Purdue. Iowa is 2-1 in five-set competitions, with wins over Northwestern and Indiana. The lone loss in four or more sets came against Illinois (3-2).

Senior Alessandra Dietz currently owns a .276 career attack percentage, which ties her for the Iowa school record held by Jen Barcus (2006). Barcus recorded 304 career kills, with 82 errors, on 804 total attacks in her season as a Hawkeye, while Dietz has 591 career kills, with 183 errors, on 1477 total attacks. With 260 career blocks, Dietz is 15th all-time at Iowa. She is two stuffs from tying Jennifer Bell (1994-97), who compiled 262 blocks in her career.

Fellow senior Alex Lovell is tied for ninth all-time at Iowa with 1,266 career kills. She is tied with Ellen Mullarkey, who played for the Hawkeyes from 1984-87.

The Hawkeyes take on Ohio State on Nov. 19, and Northwestern on Nov. 22 on the road next week, before returning to Iowa City for the final week of the regular season. Iowa is set to face Maryland on Nov. 26, and Michigan State on Nov. 28 in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Six Big Ten institutions appear in the most recent release of the American Volleyball Coaches Association Division I Coaches Poll (Nov. 10). No. 4 Wisconsin and No. 6 Penn State rank in the top 10, while No. 11 Nebraska, No. 12 Illinois, No. 16 Purdue and No. 17 Ohio State appear in the top 20.

Six of Iowa’s nine Big Ten losses this year have been to a team currently ranked in the top 25. The Hawkeyes have six conference matches remaining in 2014, three against currently ranked opponents.

First-year head coach Bond Shymansky earned his 300th career victory when the Hawkeyes completed their 3-0 sweep at Maryland on Oct. 31, and added to his win total the next night when the team defeated Rutgers, 3-1, on Nov. 1.

Shymansky has earned 13 of his 303 career victories at Iowa, 117 in five seasons at Marquette and 172 in seven seasons at Georgia Tech. He currently owns a 303-121 record and a .715 win percentage in 13 seasons as a head coach.

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 303-121 (.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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