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Saturday, May 25
The Indiana Daily Student

sports volleyball

Big victories carry volleyball into weekend

The Hoosiers are working their way up the Big Ten ladder, pulling out two more wins last weekend against Northwestern and Wisconsin and are now standing at 4-6 in conference.

“I think the majority of them tried to focus on playing one point at a time,” IU coach Sherry Dunbar said. “They focused on forgetting about the last mistake and playing in the moment, and that allowed them to play more relaxed in that sense.”

This weekend the Hoosiers are looking for revenge as they host the Iowa Hawkeyes on Friday and Minnesota on Saturday at 7 p.m., respectively, in the University Gym.
Iowa and Minnesota have both beat the Hoosiers already this season.

“We have film on them from before, and stat reports,” sophomore middle Ashley Benson said. “We adjust to what they did when they played us before, and we know that they tip a lot, so all we need to do is adjust to that.”

The team has the confidence and skills to continue its aggressive play and teamwork they significantly improved on last weekend.

“I think we’re a better team than we were playing them away,” Dunbar said. “We’ve already seen them once, so we know what we didn’t do the first time. We’re definitely fixing them at practice. We’re picking up a lot of things from that match, and they’re motivated to win.”

The Hoosiers began last weekend on a strong foot, winning in five sets against the Wildcats 23-25, 25-23, 27-29, 25-18 and 15-10. This crazy back-and-forth match proved to be an accomplishment, out-killing the Wildcats 72 to 59 and out-digging them 74 to 65.

The team’s success was guided by Benson, who not only scored a career-high of 23 kills and nine blocks, but was also awarded Big Ten Player of the Week and National Player of the Week.

“She’s a huge reason why we were successful,” Dunbar said, “and I’m looking for her to do that on a consistent basis. I want her to do that over 10 matches, not just two. I want her to come out with that mentality that she can and needs to do that every time.”

Sophomore defensive specialist Hayley Koetter and freshman setter Mary Chaudoin also contributed, tallying a combined 63 assists.

“We talked about focusing on each point and not worrying about the score or worrying about the process of it, and we knew the outcome would happen,” Chaudoin said. “It was so much fun, and we really came together as a team and played in the moment.”

After a day of rest, the Hoosiers came prepared to take on then-No. 25 Wisconsin, defeating them in four sets 22-25, 25-21, 25-23 and 25-20. Senior captain Erica Short said last weekend showed the true character of the Hoosiers.

“I think we all know now that we are a great team and we should be winning,” Short said. “Who cares? It’s just Wisconsin. It’s just their name. We give too much credit to teams just because of their name. It really doesn’t mean much.”

The Hoosiers ran with that idea by limiting the Badger offense to a measly .146 hitting percentage by putting up strong blocks and swings by Benson and freshman middle Lexie Woodson, who performed at a .429 hitting level percentage.

The Hoosiers beat Wisconsin on the road for the first time since 1995, which was also the first against the Badgers in general since 2002.

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