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Sunday, April 14
The Indiana Daily Student

sports volleyball

Freshmen prepared for first home tournament


The seven freshmen on the IU volleyball team got their first collegiate match experience in Houston last weekend.

However, they have yet to play a match at home with the added excitement of familiar surroundings and an overwhelmingly cream-and-crimson fan base.

That, coach Sherry Dunbar said, might reproduce some of those emotions when the Hoosiers (3-0) take the University Gym court against University of Tennessee-Martin at noon Friday as hosts of the IU adidas Classic.

“I think they’re excited to play at home,” Dunbar said of her new players, who were part of a top-25 recruiting class nationally. “There are probably going to be a few jitters before, so I’m glad we’re playing that 12 o’clock match.”

IU will play four matches in the tournament, with the first two on Friday and the final two on Saturday.

Dunbar said she expects the Hoosiers’ four opponents to present “a lot of different styles, a lot of different levels, which is exactly what we wanted. It should be diverse competition for us.

“We have a young team with seven newcomers, and we’re hoping to get our newcomers a lot of playing time.”

IU’s second Friday match will begin at 7 p.m. The Hoosiers will face the No. 18-ranked Kentucky Wildcats (3-0).

Dunbar said the contest with Kentucky will help her evaluate the progress of the team and prepare it for its slate in the Big Ten, which includes six top-25 teams.

“We’re ... playing one of the best teams in the country in Kentucky,” Dunbar said. “It will give us a good feel of playing in the Big Ten and also give our newcomers a feel of playing in the Big Ten, so I’m really excited to play them. I think it’s time we challenge ourselves and kind of see where we’re at and what we can work on.”

IU received significant contributions from those newcomers in its first three matches during the Flo Hyman Invitational at the University of Houston last weekend.

Freshman outside hitter Jordan Haverly led the team in service aces throughout the tournament with seven.

Haverly’s 32 kills over the Hoosiers’ three matches were second on the team only to the 43 of All-Big Ten middle blocker Ashley Benson.

“It was really good,” Haverly said of her debut. “Hopefully we can continue working hard and having fun together.”

Freshman setter Whitney Granado recorded an ace on her first collegiate attempt, also the first attempt of the season for IU.

“I was just trying to put it on point,” Granado said of the initial service attempt in the Hoosiers’ first match. She said she was shocked when it hit the court uncontested.
IU’s other freshmen contributed, as well.

Outside hitter Ivie Obeime and right-side hitter Kelci Marschall both recorded multiple kills in two matches, and middle blocker Samantha Thrower had at least one in each match.

Freshman defensive specialist Laura Matula also contributed, registering 14 digs on the weekend.

The Hoosier’s Saturday slate includes a match at noon against Murray State and a 7 p.m. contest against University of Illinois-Chicago.

“We certainly want to see more consistency with people running our offense and playing faster,” Dunbar said.

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