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Tuesday, Nov. 28
The Indiana Daily Student

sports volleyball

Volleyball faces defending national champions, No. 1 Penn State

The IU volleyball team might have thought it had it tough last weekend, facing two top-20 teams, Illinois and Purdue.

But those teams are nothing compared to the next monster IU will encounter today at the University Gym.

This monster comes in the guise of a lion – a Nittany Lion, to be exact. Defending national champion and undefeated Penn State will pay Bloomington a visit.

The top-ranked Nittany Lions have not lost a single set in competition this year, let alone a match, as they stand at a perfect 14-0. They have also won 40 straight matches dating back to last year and have lost just eight total sets during that time period.

The Hoosiers, meanwhile, have had more modest results, as they come in at 8-6 overall and 0-2 in the Big Ten this year.

Still, the Hoosiers aren’t intimidated. IU coach Sherry Dunbar is looking forward to the challenge the Lions will provide.

“It is a great opportunity,” Dunbar said. “Why not play the best team in the country, as it should be a great experience for us?”

Freshman outside hitter Danielle LaGrange said she believes the team just needs to be optimistic, and good things can happen.

“We have to have a positive attitude and have the mindset that we are going to win,” LaGrange said. 

Today’s game will mark IU’s first television appearance of the season, as the game will be televised live on the Big Ten Network at 7 p.m.

Following the Penn State match, competition will lighten up somewhat, as IU takes on unranked Michigan State on Friday to close out a four-match home stand that opened the Big Ten season.

For now, however, the Hoosiers are focused on Penn State, a team that is literally on top of the college volleyball world at present.

Freshman middle blocker Lexie Woodson knows that no matter what happens Wednesday, there is still an abundance of time to do well the rest of the season.

“We have plenty of matches and practice to look forward to,” Woodson said.

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