“Our ultimate goal is to win a national title,” Shymansky said. “A lot of that starts today with this group.”
His first job to reach that plateau — changing the attitudes about Hawkeye volleyball.
“If you think it can happen, it will happen,” said outside hitter Alex Lovell, who has led the team in kills for three years. “Bond is our leader and we’re going to follow him to that championship.”
Ten letterwinners return, including setter Alyssa Klostermann and middle hitter Alessandra Dietz.
Shymansky is making a homecoming. He grew up in Iowa City and graduated from Iowa in 1995, playing club volleyball there. He led successful programs at Georgia Tech (a three-time NCAA qualifier from 2002-04) and Marquette (three more NCAA trips).
He’s been reunited with people who remember him from 20 years ago.
“It’s like an episode of ‘This is Your Life,’ ” Shymansky said.
The first-year coach will have good numbers of returning players. He plans to use them, too — up to 10 athletes could take part in the starting rotation.
The Hawkeyes will use a fast-paced offense this fall.
“We changed bascially everything,” Lovell said.
Freshman setter Kaylee Smith of Indianola said Shymansky made an impression on her.
“He really has a vision and knew the program well,” Smith said. “He had something I could buy into.”
CONFERENCE: Big Ten
LAST YEAR: 11-21, 2-18 (11th)
COACH: Bond Shymansky
OUTLOOK: First-year coach Shymansky will be greeted by 10 returning letterwinners. He replaced Sharon Dingman, who stepped down after six seasons. Shymansky, an Iowa graduate, previously coached at Marquette… Alex Lovell, a senior outside hitter, has led the team in kills for three seasons. She has a career total of 1,099. Lovell averaged 3.35 kills per set last season while hitting .172… Alyssa Klostermann drew significant playing time as a freshman setter. She averaged 4.28 assists. Freshman Kaylee Smith of Indianola, a Des Moines Sunday Register first-team all-stater, could contend at that spot, too… The Hawkeyes will face a tough conference schedule this fall, with matches against seven top 25 ranked teams. Penn State is No. 1, Wisconsin No. 6, Nebraska No. 7 and Purdue No. 8.
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes volleyball