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Wednesday, Feb. 21
The Indiana Daily Student

sports

Four game skid stanched

Team goes 1-1 to extend conference record to 2-4

The storm has subsided. After losing four straight games against Big Ten opponents, the Hoosier volleyball team has lurched back to life with an upset win against the No. 15 ranked Wisconsin Badgers Saturday. But, Saturday's win came with a price as the Hoosiers fell to the unranked Northwestern Wildcats just 24 hours earlier.\nSaturday's match against the Badgers looked like a monumental task for the Hoosiers. Wisconsin came into University gym sporting an 11-4 overall record and a 2-2 record in the Big Ten.\nDespite Wisconsin's ranking, IU drew first blood. The Hoosiers broke out to an early 9-5 lead. The Badgers seemed rattled in the first game, routinely letting balls drop to floor. IU utilized Wisconsin's mistakes, going on a 10-3 run to bring the score to 26-18 and eventually a 30-25 victory.\nGame two was a constant back and forth battle with neither team going on streaks of more than three points. Both IU and Wisconsin kept the game neck and neck until Wisconsin's sophomore outside hitter Jill Odenthal went on her own three point tirade to bring the score to 25-20. The Badgers eventually overtook IU 30-26.\nGame three was yet another close battle, featuring 15 ties. Trailing by two points late in the game, the Hoosiers were able to put together a three point run to gain the lead 21-20. Both teams kept trading blows for five consecutive ties until the Hoosiers nearly lost the game by trailing 29-28. Sophomore outside hitter Christina Archibald then took control by logging the pivotal kill to tie the game at 29 before gaining a service ace to take the game 31-29.\nIntensity reigned in game four with players from both teams constantly diving on the floor to keep the ball in play. IU trailed 18-19, but impressive Hoosier hitting eventually had the Badgers following suit. Despite the "floor play," the Badgers scored four straight points to win the game 30-26.\nGame five, however, was all Hoosiers, with Wisconsin constantly playing catch-up until junior outside hitter Nikki Hill smashed home the game's final point for a 15-11 IU win and 3-2 match victory. \nJunior middle blocker Melissa Brewer led the team with 25 kills along with 6 block assists. Archibald and sophomore middle blocker Katie Pollom also had 20 and 19 kills respectively. Senior outside hitter Erin Byrd paced Wisconsin with 18 kills. \nPollom said Saturday's victory proved to be an important victory for the Hoosiers by proving that IU can go the distance.\n"The fact that we won in five was very important for us, because that's a goal of ours, and that has become an expectation now," Pollom said. "We've proved to ourselves more than once this year that we can finish a game."\nThe Hoosiers came into Friday night's home match against Northwestern with much anticipation after three straight road losses. But, the Hoosier's home crowd was not enough, as IU dropped a heartbreaker, 3-2.\nThe first game had the Hoosiers blasting out of the starting blocks with all cylinders firing, constantly keeping the Wildcats playing catch-up. Ignited by Brewer's hitting prowess, IU went on a 10-3 run early in the game to bring the score to 17-9. Northwestern tried to hold on with mini-runs throughout, but the Hoosiers overpowered the Wildcats 30-19.\nThe Wildcats came back in game two to an early 5-1 lead. Northwestern kept the Hoosiers at bay with a 7-3 run to bring the score to 15-9. The Hoosiers regained their composure by stringing together their own set of mini-runs to bring IU within three points for a 25-22 Wildcats lead. This was as far as the Hoosiers could get, with Northwestern overtaking IU 30-27, tying the match.\nNorthwestern's momentum held strong through game three with powerful hitting. The game stayed close with neither team posting more than three point streaks. But, the Wildcats had the upper hand and overtook the Hoosiers 30-25.\nThe fourth game proved to be a battle with both teams knotting the score 15 times. The match was hard fought until IU logged an 8-2 run that brought the win within reach for a 27-20 Hoosier lead. Northwestern kept themselves alive by turning in a 6-1 stanza of its own to bring the Wildcats within one for a 28-27 IU lead. IU finally overtook Northwestern 36-34 to tie the match at 2 games apiece.\nThe fifth game of the match had both teams tying five times in a 15 point game. With both teams knotted at 12, Northwestern took three of the next four points to take the game 15-13 and the match 3-2.\nCoach Katie Weismiller said the team was dissatisfied with their play on both sides of the court after dropping the 3-2 match. \n"We staggered getting our offense going, out of rhythm," Weismiller said, "We have to find a way to get more blocks." \nArchibald again paced the Hoosiers with 23 kills, and Northwestern's junior outside hitter Iwona Lodzik logged 18 kills to lead the Wildcats. Northwestern buried the Hoosiers in blocking logging 19 to IU's 6. Northwestern's record improved to 11-6 overall and 4-1 in the Big Ten. \nThis weekend's split brings the Hoosiers to a 12-6 overall record and a 2-4 record in the Big Ten. Despite the team's big win, the Hoosiers' focus is to look ahead.\n"The big thing is to move on really quickly," Brewer said. "We're on the road again, and we've got to move on and carry this over to the next game"

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