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Saturday, June 22
The Indiana Daily Student

sports volleyball

Unranked Spartans await fluctuating IU

Team needs win to help reach .500 in conference

After losing to top-ranked Penn State, the IU volleyball team returns to action Saturday in what appears to be a more winnable match against Michigan State.

Unlike the Nittany Lions, who have not lost a set or match this year, the Spartans are unranked. Michigan State is 4-8 in the Big Ten and 12-11 overall, while the Hoosiers are 6-7 in the Big Ten and 14-11 overall.

Before the loss to Penn State, IU won four matches in a row, including wins against two ranked teams: then-No. 21 Wisconsin and then-No. 13 Minnesota. The Hoosiers also came close to handing Penn State their first loss in a set this year as IU led the third set 22-21 before Penn State ultimately won the final four points and the match.

IU freshman defensive specialist Caitlin Cox said she thinks if the Hoosiers compete against Michigan State with the same force they’ve shown before, the results will be different.

“If we play like we did in the last set against Penn State, then I think we are capable of beating anyone,” Cox said.

IU coach Sherry Dunbar said she thinks it is important the Hoosiers play well in general.

“I think it is a big match for us, and we need to get fired up and play point-for-point,” Dunbar said.

Saturday’s match begins at 6:30 p.m.

Regardless of the outcome, the Hoosiers will need several more wins to reach NCAA Tournament eligibility. To be considered, the team must finish at least 10-10 in conference play.

Senior middle blocker Erica Short said because of her experience, her own play is important to the Hoosiers’ success and chance at postseason play.

“Since I am a senior, I know I have to keep the ball in play, as I am the team leader,” Short said.

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