Hawkeyes Open 2015 Season

Aug. 27, 2015

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The University of Iowa volleyball team opens regular season play at the Northern Illinois Invitational in DeKalb, Illinois, Aug. 29-30. The Hawkeyes take on the South Dakota State at 10 a.m. (CT) and Pacific at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, and conclude weekend action against the host Huskies at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday. Each match will take place on Victor E. Court.

Sunday is match against NIU will be shown live online on ESPN3. Audio is available for all three matches on Hawkeye All-Access at hawkeyesports.com. Second-year play-by-play announcer Tim Keating will call the action. Gametracker (live stats) is also available for each contest on the volleyball schedule page on hawkeyesports.com.

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 and Instagram. Be sure to follow the team’s live Twitter feed, @IowaVB_Live, for more frequent in-match tweets, statistics and more.


In his first season at the helm, Bond Shymansky led the Hawkeyes to a 14-17 overall record and a 6-14 mark in Big Ten Conference action.

The Hawkeyes won four consecutive Big Ten Conference matches midway through the 2014 season, topping Maryland (3-0) and Rutgers (3-1) on the road before returning to Iowa City and extending its win streak with victories over Indiana (3-2) and No. 12 Purdue (3-1). It marked the longest streak since 1994, when the Hawkeyes won eight straight Big Ten matches and went on to clinch a berth to the NCAA Tournament — the most recent postseason appearance for the program.

Iowa also defeated its first ranked opponent since 2012 with a 3-1 victory over No. 12 Purdue on Mediacom Court in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Nov. 8, 2014.

Fourteen of Iowa’s 2015 opponents are ranked in the preseason American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Top 25 Poll, released on August 12. No. 1 Penn State, T-No. 5 Nebraska, T-No. 5 Wisconsin, No. 8 Illinois, No. 14 Ohio State, No. 18 Hawaii, No. 19 Michigan State, No. 20 UCLA, and No. 21 Iowa State are all ranked within the top 25, while Purdue, Texas A&M, Minnesota, Michigan, and American are receiving votes.

The 2015 roster features eight newcomers, including four with collegiate experience.

Junior setter Loxley Keala joins the program following two years at Missouri, while junior middle blocker Ashley Mariani transfers after spending two seasons at Tennessee. Sophomore Taylr McNeil — an outside hitter — played her freshman season at South Carolina, and sophomore defensive specialist Annika Olsen adds depth to the back row following a year at Georgia Tech.

The Hawkeyes also welcome four incoming freshmen, including right side hitter Reghan Coyle, outside hitter Reagan Davey, and defensive specialists Libby Koukol and Molly Kelly.

The University of Iowa volleyball team competes live on the Big Ten Network (BTN) or BTN Plus 16 times this season. The Hawkeyes’ match against Wisconsin on Oct. 23 in Iowa City will be televised live on BTN. First serve is set for 7 p.m. (CT).

Fifteen 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 btn2go.com.

Twelve of Iowa’s 20 Big Ten Conference matches will air live on KXIC Radio this season. The first broadcast of the season is Sept. 26 at Nebraska at 7 p.m. (CT). Second-year play-by-play announcer Tim Keating will call the action. Audio for all of Iowa’s home and away matches are available online as part of the premium content package on Hawkeye All-Access at hawkeyesports.com.

? Iowa leads South Dakota State, 3-0, all-time. The teams last met on Aug. 24, 2012 at the Hawkeye Invitational in Iowa City, Iowa. The Hawkeyes recorded a 3-1 win (27-25, 20-25, 26-24, 25-22)
? Pacific leads Iowa, 1-0, all-time. The Tigers defeated the Hawkeyes, 3-1 (17-25, 19-25, 26-24, 22-25), at the Marquette Invitational on Sept. 14, 2012.
? The Hawkeyes own a 6-4 all-time series advantage over the Huskies. Northern Illinois won the last meeting, 3-0 (22-25, 17-25, 23-25), on Sept. 19, 2010 in DeKalb, Illinois.

Nine Big Ten teams appeared in the AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25 Preseason Poll, released on August 12. No. 1 Penn State, T-No. 5 Nebraska, T-No. 5 Wisconsin, and No. 8 Illinois made the Top 10, while No. 14 Ohio State, and No. 19 Michigan State also made the list. Purdue (131), Minnesota (78), and Michigan (12) also received votes in the poll.

The Hawkeyes were picked to finish 11th out of 14 teams in the Big Ten, as announced by the conference office on August 13. Defending national champion Penn State was at the top of the poll, followed by Nebraska, Illinois, Big Ten Champion Wisconsin, and Minnesota. Michigan State, Purdue, Ohio State, Michigan and Northwestern round out the top 10. Iowa occupies 11th ahead of Indiana, Maryland and Rutgers.

? Alyssa Klostermann ranks 19th all-time with 992 career assists. The junior dished out 484 as a freshman and added 508 as a sophomore.
? In 2014, the Hawkeyes went 8-1 in matches lasting four or five sets. The squad was a perfect 5-0 in four-set matches, and 3-1 in five-set matches.
? Senior Mikaela Gunderson started every match (31) in 2014. She led the team in total blocks (103) and blocks per set (0.98) with eight solo stuffs and 95 block assists.
? Lauren Brobst started all but one match (30) in 2014. The junior led the team in kills (286) and kills per set (2.75) last season.
? Junior transfer Loxley Keala appeared in every match (33) and set (128) for Missouri last season. She led the team in assists (718) and assists per set (5.61), was second on the squad in service aces (22) and third in digs (264).
? Sophomore transfer Taylr McNeil played in 28 matches and notched 25 starts for South Carolina in 2014. She led the Gamecocks with a kills per set average of 3.06, a total that ranked ninth in the SEC and second among league freshmen.

Middle/right side hitter Jess Janota represented the Hawkeyes on a international platform this summer. The sophomore joined 13 other Big Ten student-athletes — one from each Big Ten institution — to play seven matches from June 13-25 in Croatia, Slovenia, and Italy.

Head coach Bond Shymansky and five student-athletes — Lauren Brobst, Reghan Coyle, Molly Kelly, Alyssa Klostermann and Alli O’Deen — on the 2015 roster were born and raised in the state of Iowa.

For a few Hawkeyes, playing volleyball at the UI is a family affair. O’Deen’s mother is a former Iowa volleyball player, while Shymansky, an Iowa City native, earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communications in 1995 and a Master of Arts in English Education in 1997 from the University of Iowa. He played men’s volleyball for the UI club team as a student.

The Hawkeyes travel to Honolulu for the Hawaiian Airlines Wahine Volleyball Classic on Sept. 5-6. The Hawkeyes take on the host Rainbow Warriors (12 a.m. CT) and UCLA (9:30 p.m. CT) on Saturday, Sept. 5, and conclude weekend action on Sunday, Sept. 6 with a 7:30 p.m. (CT) match against American.

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