Hawkeyes Host No. 1 Penn State

Nov. 10, 2015

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The University of Iowa volleyball team returns to Carver-Hawkeye Arena for a Big Ten match against No. 1 Penn State on Wednesday, Nov. 11. First serve is set for 7 p.m. (CT).


Wednesday’s contest will be streamed live online via 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.

BTN will debut a unique look at the country’s premier volleyball conference Wednesday. The B1G Volleyball Extravaganza, beginning at 6 p.m. (CT), features live look-ins at all 14 Big Ten volleyball teams playing in seven conference matches throughout the evening. The event will be hosted by BTN’s Mike Wolf, who will provide direction from the studio while helping viewers navigate the evening’s slate. For more information, visit btn.com.

Live stats are also available for Wednesday’s contest. Links can be found on the volleyball schedule page at hawkeyesports.com.

For an inside look at the Iowa Volleyball program and access to 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.

The University of Iowa volleyball team will host its annual Alumni Day on Saturday, Nov. 21, when the Hawkeyes host Northwestern at 7 p.m. (CT).

Former players who RSVP by Thursday, Nov. 12, will receive free admission to the match as well as a link to purchase tickets for the Iowa football game against Purdue on Nov. 21 (Kickoff TBA). To receive more information and to RSVP, contact Bre Payton at breann-payton@iowavolleyball.com.

• Iowa has yet to defeat Penn State, as the Nittany Lions lead the all-time series, 49-0.
• The Nittany Lions defeated the Hawkeyes in straight sets on Oct. 3 in University Park, Pennsylvania.
• Iowa and Penn State first played each other on Oct. 18, 1991.
• The Hawkeyes last won a set against the Nittany Lions on Sept. 22, 2012. Iowa fell in four sets (20-25, 21-25, 29-27, 14-25).

According to the NCAA, the Hawkeyes have the sixth-strongest strength of schedule in Division I Volleyball — the third highest ranking among Big Ten opponents. Northwestern (3rd), Wisconsin (5th), Minnesota (7th), Ohio State (9th), and Illinois (14th) also made the top 15.

Eleven of Iowa’s 2015 opponents appear in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Top 25 Poll, released on Nov. 9. No. 1 Penn State, No. 4 Minnesota, No. 7 Hawaii, No. 8 Nebraska, No. 9 UCLA, No. 11 Wisconsin, No. 14 Ohio State, No. 16 Illinois, and No. 17 Purdue are ranked within the top 25, while Texas A&M (62) and Michigan (46) are receiving votes.

Eight Big Ten teams are included in the AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25 Poll, released on Nov. 9. No. 1 Penn State, No. 4 Minnesota, and No. 8 Nebraska appear in the to 10, while No. 11 Wisconsin, No. 14 Ohio State, No. 16 Illinois, and No. 17 Purdue also made the list. Michigan (46) is receiving votes in the poll.

Loxley Keala recorded her 1,000th assist against Purdue on Nov. 7. The junior’s 1,052 assists rank ninth on Iowa’s all-time career assists list. Janet Moylan (1987-90) holds the school record with 5,471 career assists. Keala has started every match and every set as Iowa’s setter this season. The Kaneohe, Hawaii, native has registered 50 or more assists seven times this season, including a career-high 64 against Michigan on Oct. 7.

Sophomore Annika Olsen along with Desmond King (football) and Madison Waymire (cross country) were named October student-athletes of the month Monday. The award honors University of Iowa student-athletes who display excellence in athletics, academics, and community service, as voted on by their peers. Olsen led the team with a 5.23 digs per set average during the month of October. The Johns Creek, Georgia, native currently leads the Big Ten with 4.94 digs per set in conference matches. She reached double digits in all 10 October matches, including a career-high 26 in Iowa’s win over Rutgers on Oct. 31.

Loxley Keala registered her fourth double-double of the season against Purdue on Nov. 7. The registered 55 assists and 12 digs in the contest. Keala has also recorded double-doubles against Maryland (50 assists, 13 digs), Hawaii (26 assists, 13 digs), and American (46 assists, 13 digs).
• Freshman Reghan Coyle started the first two matches of her career last week against Indiana and Purdue. In two matches, Coyle registered 12 kills, 10 digs and a pair of aces.
• In two matches last week (Indiana, Purdue), sophomore Jess Janota led the team with 30 kills and a .442 attack percentage. Janota registered 19 kills against Purdue on Nov. 7 — just one kill from tying her career-high of 20 (Iowa State, 9/11).

• Iowa ranks second in the Big Ten conference in team assists with 1,206.
• The Hawkeyes have tallied 1,267 kills this season, the second most in the Big Ten.
• Iowa has registered 119 aces on the season, the third highest total in the Big Ten.
• The Hawkeyes rank third in the Big Ten with a 1.25 aces per set average.
• Iowa ranks third in the Big Ten with1,392 team digs.

• Sophomore Annika Olsen leads the Big Ten in total digs (460) and digs per set average (4.84).
• Junior Loxley Keala leads the conference in total assists (1,052).
• Keala has the fifth-best assist per set average in the Big Ten (11.07).
• Senior Mikaela Gunderson owns the eighth-highest hitting percentage in the conference (.341).

• Junior Loxley Keala‘s 11.08 assists per set average ranks 28th nationally.
• Keala is ranked 37th nationally in total assists (1,052).
• Sophomore Annika Olsen ranks 47th in digs per set average (4.84).

• Freshman Molly Kelly is currently ranked fourth among league freshmen in service aces per set average (0.23). Kelly has 22 service aces this season. She has registered three aces in a single match three times (Pacific, NIU, Wisconsin).
• Freshman Reagan Davey is fourth among conference freshmen in kills per set average (2.43).
• Freshman Libby Koukol (2.18) and Davey (2.17) are ranked sixth and seventh, respectively, among Big Ten freshmen in digs per set average.

The Hawkeyes registered a season-high 11 service aces against Indiana on Nov. 4, marking the most aces in a three-set conference match this season. Junior Loxley Keala registered four — a new career high — while junior Ashley Mariani added three. Freshmen Libby Koukol, Reghan Coyle, and Molly Kelly, and junior Alyssa Klostermann also recorded aces in the contest.

The Hawkeyes recorded back-to-back wins against Rutgers (Oct. 31) and Indiana (Nov. 4). Iowa recorded its first Big Ten win of the season, defeating Rutgers in straight sets (25-20, 25-19, 25-20) in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Hawkeyes extended the streak with a 3-0 sweep at Indiana (25-19, 25-21, 25-20). The victory marked the first true road win for the Hawkeyes this season.

The Hawkeyes won eight straight matches from Sept. 6-19 — the longest streak for the program since 2006. Iowa defeated American, 3-1, at the Hawaiian Airlines Wahine Volleyball Classic on Sept. 6. The following weekend (Sept. 11-12), the Hawkeyes went 3-0 at the Comfort Suites Challenge with wins over Milwaukee (3-0), Iowa State (3-1), and No. 25 Texas A&M (3-1). Iowa continued its streak on Sept. 18-19, sweeping the Holiday Inn Hawkeye Challenge tournament field with wins over Gardner-Webb (3-0), Coastal Carolina (3-0, 3-0) and Drake (3-0).

In front of the fifth-largest crowd in program history (2,488), the University of Iowa volleyball team trumped the Cyclones, 3-1, for the first time since Sept. 13, 1997. The Hawkeyes used a .379 attack percentage and a season-high 66 kills to defeat Iowa State in four sets. Sophomore Jess Janota paced the Hawkeye offense with a career-high 20 kills, while freshman Libby Koukol led the team with a career-high 18 digs.

Iowa’s 3-1 victory over No. 25 Texas A&M on Sept. 12 marked the first ranked win for the Hawkeyes since defeating No. 12 Purdue, 3-1, on Nov. 8, 2014. Junior Loxley Keala led the Hawkeye offense with a career-high 57 assists, while junior Lauren Brobst paced the team in kills (17). Freshman Reagan Davey and senior Mikaela Gunderson each contributed four blocks.

University of Iowa junior Loxley Keala was named Big Ten Conference Setter of the Week for her performance at the Comfort Suites Challenge on Sept. 11-12. It is the first conference honor of Keala’s career. The Kaneohe, Hawaii, native is the first Hawkeye to earn a Big Ten weekly award since Bethany Yeager was named defensive player of the week on Sept. 2, 2013. Keala is the first Hawkeye in program history to win a weekly setter award.

Keala posted 40-plus assists in all three matches that weekend, including a career-high 57 against No. 25 Texas A&M. She led the offense to back-to-back matches with a .300 or better attack percentage, including a season-high .379 against Iowa State and .303 versus Texas A&M. Keala tallied 154 assists and averaged 14 assists per set on the weekend.

Iowa has set two top-10 attendance marks this season. The Hawkeyes downed the Cyclones in front of the fifth-largest crowd in program history (2,488) on Sept. 11, before hosting the nationally ranked Huskers on Sept. 23 in front of 2,447 fans — the sixth-largest crowd in program history.

The Hawkeyes travel to Madison, Wisconsin, for a contest against the Badgers on Nov. 14. First serve is set for 7 p.m. (CT).

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