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Sunday, April 14
The Indiana Daily Student

sports volleyball

Team splits IU adidas Classic, goes 2-2

Despite a disappointing loss to open the IU adidas Classic on Friday, IU volleyball coach Sherry Dunbar said her team was competitive and that there was a lot of room to grow.

“We just played more like a team (Saturday),” Dunbar said. “Our energy was a lot higher.”

The Hoosiers (5-2) lost two matches on Friday and won two on Saturday to split their slate in the hometown tournament.

IU dropped its first contest against the University of Tennessee-Martin by 25-14, 25-23, 19-25, 23-25 and 12-15.

The Hoosiers posted a collective .297 attack percentage in their first match, with graduate student and right-side hitter Whitney Thomas and freshman outside hitter Jordan Haverly leading the team with 14 and 13 kills, respectively.

The team saw most of its contributions from younger players. Junior middle blocker Ashley Benson did not see action until late in the fourth set as the Skyhawks were staging a comeback.

However, that was not why IU lost, Dunbar said.

“We just didn’t learn as the match went along, and UT-Martin did,” she said. “We never really learned how to play the game against this kind of team.”

IU played its second match Friday night against No. 18 Kentucky, taking a set from the Wildcats before ultimately falling short of an upset in four games – 23-25, 25-19, 19-25 and 18-25.

Dunbar said that despite another loss, she appreciated the effort from her team against a strong opponent.

“I thought we were competitive,” Dunbar said of IU’s contest with Kentucky. “It was a competitive match. If you’re a fan, it was a fun match to watch, with a lot of hard hitting, a lot of great defense. We’re going to learn a lot from that match blocking-wise, defensively, and passing-wise.”

Senior outside hitter Kelsey Hall, who led the team in kills against Kentucky with 17 and also recorded 15 digs, agreed with her coach.

“I think it was really good, especially after what happened this morning,” Hall said. “I think we were in a bit of a funk, and to play like this tonight, I think it was good for our confidence.”

Hall also credited the support from the IU fans during that match and said the team was really excited to see such a turnout.

“It was overwhelming,” she said. “We haven’t had that in a long time. We’ll get a few fans here and there, but this was amazing.”

IU was able to close the tournament with a pair of wins Saturday, the first against Murray State in four sets.

The Hoosiers dropped the match’s initial set 22-25 before rebounding to win the next three 25-22, 25-12 and 25-14, posting a team attack percentage of .269.

IU’s final contest in the Classic was a sweep of the University of Illinois-Chicago on Saturday night by 25-19, 25-20 and 25-13, respectively.

Sophomore libero Caitlin Cox, who recorded three service aces in each of the Hoosiers’ Saturday matches, said Saturday was a great rebound from Friday.

“I think it was nice to bounce back and get some confidence back,” Cox said. “I’ve been struggling a lot lately with my serving, and it was really nice to get on a run and get some aces in there.”

As IU prepares for its next invitational at Ohio this weekend, Dunbar said she knows where her team needs to grow.

“I think it’s on us,” she said. “We really have to follow game plans, we have to be able to adjust to the game plan and know which teams are going to make adjustments as they go along.”

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