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V-ball transfer Dietz has settled into her new home with the Hawkeyes

BY CARLOS SOSA | SEPTEMBER 13, 2012 6:30 AM

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It hasn’t taken long for middle blocker Alessandra Dietz to have an effect on a young Iowa volleyball team looking to continue on its early season success.

The Bloomfield Hills, Mich., native registered 23 kills over three matches at the Iowa State Challenge last weekend. Her best performance came in the first match against Syracuse, when she registered 12 kills.

“From a depth standpoint, Alessandra has been a huge part of everything we’ve been doing so far,” head coach Sharon Dingman said. “She has been starting almost every match and she had a good weekend [at the ISU tournament] and is starting to come into her own.”

Dietz came to the UI because of the ties she had with some of the Hawkeyes. She played alongside outside hitter Alex Lovell and middle blocker Erin Leppek in her home state for the Michigan Elite volleyball club.

After high school, she decided to play for Loyola-Marymount,  in Los Angeles, but after one season, she realized she needed a change. That’s when she chose to play with her old friends in Iowa City.

“When I left Loyola-Marymount, I was excited about coming to [Iowa] and to start over and really focus on what I needed to do to get better and to play,” Dietz said. “It was one of my goals to contribute [to the team] and start right away.”

Dietz’s goal of a quick impact has happened, as she continues to effectively play on both sides of the ball.

“[Alessandra] has gotten a lot of kills for us and hits the ball as hard as anyone on the team,” outside hitter Rachael Bedell said. “ She’s also adamant about getting blocks. Her blocks and her kills bring momentum to our team. She can always get us going on the court.”

Dietz has played in 36 sets this season. She’s currently tied for the team lead in blocks with 31.0. On the offensive side she is fifth in kills (60) and points (85.5). Dietz’s terrific play has come all while she has been adjusting to a new team.

“The adjustment, obviously, with a new team and new setters, it takes some time,” Dietz said. “There are a lot of new players but everyone is doing a great job adjusting. We’re coming together and everyone is starting to click.”

The adjustment has gone both ways. Teammates said Dietz’s poised attitude has already helped the squad’s effectiveness on the court.

“She is carefree,” Bedell said. “She’ll make silly faces during games to keep everyone calm and is never one to be tense … and [the team] feeds off that.”

Her presence on the court has helped Iowa to a 7-3 start on the season. Even though she has done well during the first few weeks of play, she knows that the level of competition is going to increase once the team begins to face Big Ten foes, and that she needs to be ready for it.

“In practice I’m working on my spacing with the setter from the net,” Dietz said. “And blocking with my readings and making sure that I’m quick to the pins. It takes a lot of reps and a lot of practice every day.”


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