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Friday, Feb. 23
The Indiana Daily Student

sports volleyball

Purdue hands IU volleyball first loss of season

Volleyball v. Purdue

The IU volleyball team (12-1, 0-1) suffered its first loss in front of the largest University Gym crowd ever.

The Hoosiers fell in four sets to Purdue (10-2, 1-0) in their first Big Ten match, losing 25-23, 24-26, 23-25 and 26-28.  

The attendance reached a University Gym record 2,308 at one point in the match.

“It was the largest crowd that we’ve had here, and I hope they loved it and will come back for more,” IU coach Sherry Dunbar said.

In the first set, sophomore middle blocker Samantha Thrower led the Hoosiers with five kills.

Thrower praised her team’s defense in the opening game.

“The defense really did a great job, especially with Laura out because of her back,” Thrower said.

Purdue outside hitter Ariel Turner led the Boilermakers with seven kills in the first set.  

Senior middle blocker Ashley Benson tallied IU’s final two kills to lead the Hoosiers to a 25-23 victory and an early 1-0 lead.

However, Benson wasn’t a big factor in the second set, registering just two kills.

On the other end, the Hoosiers didn’t have an answer for Turner, who added another five kills as the Boilermakers beat IU 26-24 to even the match at one set apiece.

“The second set we played very tight,” Dunbar said. “I thought our hitters weren’t doing their job of terminating swings.”

Purdue did not trail after a 9-9 tie in the third set en route to winning 25-23 and taking a 2-1 advantage.

“I think we saw some great points in this match, and we have to take that onto future Big Ten matches,” Wittmer said.

In the fourth set, IU responded after facing three Purdue match points until the Boilermakers put on the finishing touches of their Big Ten-opening road win by claiming the set, 28-26.

“It obviously is just going to fire us up more for Northwestern this Friday,” Thrower said.
Dunbar said the Hoosiers could benefit from losing the first match of a daunting Big Ten schedule.

“I think we are going to learn from this, and although they are going to take this one hard, they are going to come back more determined,” Dunbar said.

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