Volleyball opens Big Ten play in Nebraska

BY DI STAFF | SEPTEMBER 24, 2014 5:00 AM

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Iowa volleyball will enter the Big Ten portion of the season this week, beginning with a match against Nebraska in Lincoln. The teams are kicking off conference play with a home-and-home pair of games — the Cornhuskers will visit Iowa City on Saturday.

The Hawkeyes enter the match at 8-3, and they have won four of their last five. They will lean heavily upon seniors Alessandra Dietz and Alex Lovell to combat the highly  talented Nebraska team.

Lovell is sixth in the Big Ten with 3.56 kills per set and eighth with 4.00 points per set. Dietz, at .416, is sixth in the conference in hitting percentage. That mark is also good for 25th nationally.

Iowa is ranked 18th in Division I with 14.25 kills per set and 21st in assists per set.

Nebraska is off to a 6-3 start and is ranked as the No. 8 team in the country. The Hawkeyes have never come out of this matchup with a victory, having dropped all 20 matches since their first meeting in 1977.

The Cornhuskers are led by Kadie Rolfzen. The 6-3 sophomore was a third-team All-American as a freshman in 2013, and she is coming off a 21-kill performance against No. 2 Texas on Sept. 20.

Iowa head coach Bond Shymansky and his squad will have its hands full — Iowa will try to win its first single set against Nebraska since September 1987. With that said, the Hawkeyes feel more confident than in recent years, and they have played well on the road this season.

First serve is scheduled for 7p.m. Wednesday.

— by Kyle Mann

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