IU goes 3-0 in season-opening weekend
By Evan Hoopfer
“At times everybody shined,” IU Coach Sherry Dunbar said. “Because that’s what our team is going to have to do all year.”
The season started off with a match against the Stony Brook Seawolves on Friday. The Hoosiers won the match three sets to one.
IU won the first set 25-20.
IU continued to succeed in the second set, allowing 13 Seawolves points. Stony Brook battled back in the third set, and the Hoosiers lost their first set of the season, 28-26.
After squandering a 21-18 lead in the third set, IU came back to clinch their first match of the year in the fourth set, 25-23.
The Hoosiers were trailing in the final set 23-21 before they rolled off four consecutive points to take the set and the match.
“I was proud of them,” Dunbar said. “A lot of times we were behind in the match and we came back. I thought it was a good first match for us to have to fight hard.”
Then, IU played the host team, Army. The Black Knights came into the invitational having the best 2011 record of all participating teams.
The two teams traded 25-22 victories in the first two sets with IU taking the first and Army taking the second.
Keeping with the theme of the match, IU took the third set 25-22 after resisting a late Army rally.
The Hoosiers rolled to a 25-14 victory to secure their second win of the season.
In the third and final match of the weekend, the Hoosiers received their first three-set sweep against Quinnipiac.
The Hoosiers tamed the Bobcats by taking three sets, 25-15, 25-8, 25-13. After the first set was tied 10-10, IU went on to average 2.5 points for every Quinnipiac point during the remainder of the match.
After sitting out the entirety of last season with an ACL injury, junior outside hitter Jordan Haverly came back into competition and was voted the best among her peers.
She received the tournament’s Most Valuable Player honor.
“I was just really excited to play again,” Haverly said. “Honestly I wasn’t expecting that.”
Sophomore middle blocker Morgan Leach and senior right side hitter Kelci Marschall were named to the all-tournament team in addition to Haverly.
Freshman setter Katie Gallagher played for senior setter Whitney Granado, who was out because of an illness.
“There was a lot of pressure on her, obviously,” Haverly said. “We had a really tough match against Army. The crowd was really intense and loud and crazy, and she handled herself really well, played really well, and all of us are really proud of her.”
Dunbar said she especially liked Gallagher’s demeanor on the court and the effect it had on her team.
“I thought she played very mature for being a freshman,” Dunbar said. “I thought she had a very calming presence about her on the court and did her job.”