Hawkeyes Close Season at Maryland, Michigan State

Nov. 23, 2015

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The University of Iowa volleyball team hits the road for the final time this season. The Hawkeyes travel to College Park, Maryland, to take on the Terrapins on Wednesday, Nov. 25, before facing Michigan State in East Lansing, Michigan, on Saturday, Nov. 28.


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. Saturday’s contest will be streamed live online via MSU All-Access at msuspartans.com.

Both contests will air live on KXIC Radio. Live audio is also available on Hawkeye All-Access at hawkeyesports.com. Second-year play-by-play announcer Tim Keating will call the action. Live stats are available on the volleyball schedule page on 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.

According to the NCAA, the Hawkeyes have the fifth-strongest strength of schedule in Division I Volleyball — the second highest ranking among Big Ten opponents. Northwestern (3rd), Wisconsin (7th), Minnesota (8th), Ohio State (11th), and Michigan (14th) also made the top 15.

Annika Olsen recorded her 500th dig of the season against Northwestern on Nov. 21. The sophomore currently leads the Big Ten in total digs (511) and digs per set (4.73). Olsen is the sixth Hawkeye to surpass 500 digs in a single season. The Johns Creek, Georgia, native has registered 20 or more digs 10 times this season, including a career-high 26 in Iowa’s win over Rutgers on Oct. 31.

• Iowa leads Maryland, 2-1, in the all-time series.
• Maryland defeated Iowa in four sets (25-19, 20-25, 22-25, 23-25) at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Oct. 30.
• The Hawkeyes defeated the Terps twice last season. Iowa won in straight sets (25-21, 25-17, 25-20) in College Park, Maryland, on Oct. 31, before defeating the Terps in five sets (25-18, 18-25, 15-25, 25-15, 17-15) in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Nov. 26.

• Michigan State leads Iowa, 45-24, all-time.
• The Spartans defeated the Hawkeyes in straight sets (22-25, 18-25, 19-25) at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Oct. 10.
• Iowa last defeated the Spartans in Iowa City on Oct. 10, 2009, in straight sets (25-14, 25-15, 25-19). Michigan State was ranked No. 18 nationally at the time.

Eleven of Iowa’s 2015 opponents appear in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Top 25 Poll, released on Nov. 23. No. 4 Minnesota, No. 5 Nebraska, No. 7 Penn State, No. 8 Hawaii, No. 10 Wisconsin, No. 13 UCLA, No. 14 Purdue, No. 16. Ohio State, No. 18 Illinois, and No. 19 Texas A&M are ranked in the top 25, while Michigan (67) is receiving votes.

Eight Big Ten teams are included in the AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25 Poll, released on Nov. 23. No. 4 Minnesota, No. 5 Nebraska, No. 7 Penn State, and No. 10 Wisconsin appear in the top 10, while No. 14 Purdue, No. 16 Ohio State, and No. 18 Illinois also made the list. Michigan (67) is receiving votes in the poll.

• Junior Loxley Keala registered a career-high five blocks against Northwestern on Nov. 21.
• Senior Mikaela Gunderson leads the team with a .336 attack percentage this season. Her attack percentage ranks eighth in the Big Ten.
Reghan Coyle has registered a new career high in kills in four of the last five matches. The freshman recorded a career-high 11 kills against Northwestern on Nov. 21.
• Three Hawkeyes reached double digits in kills against Northwestern on Nov. 21. Junior Lauren Brobst led the team with 12, while Coyle added a career-high 11, and junior Ashley Mariani registered 10.
• Freshman Libby Koukol reached double digits in digs (11) against Northwestern on Nov. 21. The freshman has reached double digits in digs six times this season, including a career-high 18 in Iowa’s win over Iowa State on Sept. 11.

Loxley Keala recorded her 1,000th assist against Purdue on Nov. 7. The junior’s 1,181 assists rank eighth on Iowa’s all-time career assists list and 10th all-time in assists in a single season. 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.

The Hawkeyes won eight matches in Carver-Hawkeye Arena this season — the most home wins for the program since 2000 (eight wins). The record includes wins over Milwaukee, Iowa State, No. 25 Texas A&M, Gardner-Webb, Coastal Carolina (2x), Drake, and Rutgers.

• The Hawkeyes have registered 126 aces on the season, the fourth highest total in the Big Ten.
• Iowa ranks fifth in the Big Ten conference in team assists with 1,349.
• The Hawkeyes rank fifth in the Big Ten with a 1.17 aces per set average.
• Iowa ranks sixth in the Big Ten with 1,551 team digs.

• Sophomore Annika Olsen leads the Big Ten in total digs (511) and digs per set average (4.73).
• Junior Loxley Keala leads the conference in total assists (1,181).
• Keala has the fifth-best assist per set average in the Big Ten (10.94).
• Senior Mikaela Gunderson owns the eighth-highest hitting percentage in the conference (.336).

• Junior Loxley Keala‘s 10.94 assists per set average ranks 36th nationally.
• Keala is ranked 43rf nationally in total assists (1,181).
• Sophomore Annika Olsen ranks 60th in digs per set average (4.73).

• Freshman Reagan Davey is fourth among conference freshmen in kills per set average (2.43).
• Freshman Molly Kelly is currently ranked sixth among league freshmen in service aces per set average (0.21). Kelly has 22 service aces this season. She has registered three aces in a single match three times (Pacific, NIU, Wisconsin).
• Davey (2.17) and freshman Libby Koukol (2.11) rank seventh and 10th, respectively, among Big Ten freshmen in digs per set.

The Hawkeyes recorded back-to-back Big Ten 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).

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.

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.

Sophomore Annika Olsen along with Desmond King (football) and Madison Waymire (cross country) were named October student-athletes of the month. 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 a 4.74 digs per set average. She reached double digits in digs in all 10 October matches, including a career-high 26 in Iowa’s win over Rutgers on Oct. 31.

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.

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