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Klostermann hopes to continue breakout year this weekend

BY RYAN RODRIGUEZ | OCTOBER 18, 2013 5:00 AM

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Even though it is only her first year as a Hawkeye, freshman setter Alyssa Klostermann is making her presence felt.

She has seen action in every Big Ten match this season, and she has had an effect on the score sheet every time, a trend she hopes to continue this weekend as Iowa hosts Purdue and Indiana.

What makes Klostermann’s impact even more astounding is that she has managed to see playing time as a freshman despite an extremely deep and experienced veteran Hawkeye roster. 

“Having an experienced team definitely gives us some added confidence going into these matches,” senior Bethany Yeager said. “Especially because a lot of us were there last year, when we beat both of them on the road.”

Klostermann was brought in as a top recruit to help bolster the roster; however, as soon as she arrived, it was clear that she would have to learn as she went along.

Head coach Sharon Dingman recently made the decision to switch to a 6-2 offensive scheme, a style that requires two setters to rotate throughout the game instead of just one up front calling the shots.  It is no easy system for a freshman to learn, but Klostermann has adapted almost seamlessly.

“Alyssa’s done great so far, and she’s in a really tough position being a setter,” Dingman said. “In this league, going against some of the toughest blocks and trying to fake them out as a setter every day is tough, but I think she’s doing really well.”

Klostermann and freshman Lauren Brobst have both cracked the lineup; what makes her case unique is that because of the new offense, she must function both as a member of a two-person unit along with senior setter Nikki Dailey as well as be a cog in the wheel of the larger team dynamic.

Klostermann has taken advantage of playing with so many women who have been second- and third-year starters, and she has used their guidance on and off the court to mold her game. 

“The whole team has been great,” she said. “They’ve really taken me in and shown all of us the ropes.  It’s usually difficult to come into a new team and a new environment and play, but with them, they’ve all been nothing but great.”

This weekend Iowa faces Purdue and Indiana, two teams that the Hawkeye’s were able to beat on the road last season. While they know that both teams will be gunning for them, they are confident that their two setters give them the chance they need to repeat last year’s success.

Klostermann and Dailey have created a real chemistry together, and the entire team has benefited. Klostermann is grateful for the opportunity given to her by her coaches and teammates.

“It definitely is a great feeling knowing that your coach and your teammates have confidence in you,” she said. “It’s been a great confidence boost knowing that I have the whole team behind me and knowing that the entire coaching staff and team feel like we can get the job done and contribute a lot to the team.”


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