Image courtesy of IU Athletics
Indiana (8-7, 0-3) lost 3-1 to the visiting No. 21 Illini (8-5, 2-1) despite winning the first set 25-22. Senior Kelci Marschall recorded 13 or more kills for the second straight match, but when asked about her stats, she stressed teamwork. “You need every part of the game to come together to really get a win.” Marschall added that she and her teammates felt like “It’s one of those games where you don’t feel like you left it all on the floor.”
The first set was a see-saw battle until the Hoosiers took the lead for good at 12-11. Melanie Hicks was the service specialist who was behind the run that made the score 17-11. The Fighting Illini were not done yet as a pair of blocks by Erin Johnson brought the set within four, 21-17. A kill by Indiana freshman Amelia Anderson extended the lead back to four, and after Illinois cut the lead to two, a Jordan Haverly kill finished off the set 25-22 in favor of the Hoosiers.
The script was flipped in the second set as Indiana trailed a majority of the time. Illinois took the lead at 6-5 and never looked back. Marschall tried to get her Hoosiers back into the set when she had kills on back-to-back points that cut the lead to four, 9-13. Indiana scored just three more points the remainder of the set, which prompted Coach Sherry Dunbar’s message of consistency. “The consistency is where it has to be, we can’t just be satisfied with winning a set…not when we have as much talent as we do,” she said.
Set number three was a more competitive battle but had the Hoosiers trailing most of the set once again. Indiana got down 17-10 before a run of five straight points highlighted by a Haverly ace and a Katie Gallagher dive into her own bench to cut the lead to two. Johnson’s kill, that made the score 20-16, thwarted the Hoosiers shot at a comeback. Fittingly, Johnson executed the game winning kill as well, which downed the Hoosiers 25-17.
To Indiana’s credit, they came out strong, jumping out to a 9-2 lead. During that run, Marschall had four kills and Chante George had a kill and a block. Illinois wasted no time coming back to tie the game at 12. Anna Dorn and Johnson highlighted the 11-3 run for the Illini. Dorn had a pair of blocks and Johnson had a pair of kills and a block during the run. Indiana faded somewhat for the third straight set towards the end. Liz McMahon and Jocelynn Birks led an Illinois 5-0 run, which made the score 21-14, seemingly taking the wind out of the Hoosiers sails. Haverly led a late push for Indiana to stay alive in the set and in the match but simply ran out of time. The Hoosiers fell 25-20 and lost the match 3-1.
With a difficult B1G schedule upcoming, Coach Dunbar is making no excuses about the team going forward. “We told the kids, that’s the choice you made when you came to Indiana, you knew you were going to play in the toughest conference in the country for volleyball,” She said. Indiana plays host to Northwestern (11-3, 0-3) Saturday night.