Image courtesy of IU Athletics
The Indiana Hoosier Volleyball team came up short on Saturday night, losing to the Northwestern Wildcats 3-1.
The Hoosiers (8-8, 0-4) took the first set after taking control early. They trailed 7-4, but scored five straight points to take a 9-7 lead and never relinquished that advantage, taking the set 25-23.
After that, it was all Northwestern. The Wildcats (12-3, 1-3), won the second set 25-18, only trailing briefly at 0-1. Indiana committed eight attack errors in the set, compared to Northwestern’s one. The Hoosiers had 25 attack errors overall on the night, while their opponents finished with just 11.
The Wildcats dominated the third set, winning 25-17 and never trailed. The fourth set started out with the two teams trading points, getting to 11-11. Northwestern then scored three straight points, gaining them a 14-11 lead and prompting Indiana head coach Sherry Dunbar to call a timeout. Things didn’t go much better afterwards, as they went down 22-16 before Dunbar called a second timeout.
Then came the furious rally from the Hoosiers, winning five of the next seven points to pull within three at 21-24 before a Northwestern timeout. Indiana then won the next two points to make the score 23-24, leading to another timeout call by the visitors. The next point went back and forth several times, but eventually Jordan Haverly’s kill attempt went just long, giving the Wildcats the point and the match. While the rally fell short, Haverly thinks that the effort says something about the team.
“I think it just shows that we have a ton of fight in us and that we really are here to prove ourselves this year. We know we can hang with some of the best teams in the Big Ten, and we’re just so close,” she said.
Haverly lead all players with 23 kills, tying her season high. Indiana’s Courtney Harnish led all players in digs with 19. Northwestern was led by Stephanie Holthus, who had 21 kills and 12 digs, while Julie Chin also added 12 digs for the Wildcats. Both Whitney Granado (Indiana) and Madalyn Shalter (Northwestern) had 44 assists.
Despite the loss, the fourth straight to start the Big Ten schedule for the Hoosiers, Coach Dunbar sees her team making progress. “It’s not the losing that frustrates me, it’s the level of play that we need to play at. The result you can’t do anything about, it’s the work in-between. And we did the work in-between tonight, we had some really big numbers and we did some really good things. We just have to keep moving in that direction,” she noted.
Indiana’s next game comes on Friday as they play host to Iowa.