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Wednesday, June 19
The Indiana Daily Student

sports volleyball

IU readies for Purdue in Monon Spike match

Volleyball v. Iowa

After losing its first match to Purdue on Sept. 22, the IU volleyball team looks to go on the road to bring the Monon Spike back to Bloomington.

Last year, the road team won the match in both of the games between the Hoosiers and the Boilermakers.

The second match between the schools, which takes place at 7 p.m. today in West Lafayette, is the Monon Spike match, similar to the football teams’ Old Oaken Bucket game.

“The Monon Spike match is the most important one,” sophomore middle blocker Samantha Thrower said. “It’s the match we’ve been waiting for all year.”

This might be a crucial match for both schools as they are among the four Big Ten teams that are tied for fifth place. In addition, the Hoosiers received 20 votes to the Boilermakers’ 16 in this week’s  coaches’ top 25 poll.

During Big Ten play, IU is 1-6 on the road, with the lone victory at Wisconsin.
A key factor in the previous match was sophomore outside hitter Ariel Turner, who led all players with 24 kills.

“We watched a lot of film on her yesterday and today,” IU coach Sherry Dunbar said of Turner. “I think our team defense is much better than the first time we played them.”
Turner ranks No. 4 among Big Ten players in kills.

Playing on the road in West Lafayette doesn’t bother Dunbar.

“I think we’ve played pretty well at Purdue, and that is because their facility is similar to ours,” Dunbar said.

Dunbar said sophomore outside hitter Jordan Haverly has improved since the last time the two teams met.

Haverly has since been named Big Ten player of the Week twice, including earning this week’s award.

The defense has also seen improvements since the last meeting with Purdue.

“Our blocking has gotten better, and I think that’s going to help when we go up there,” sophomore outside hitter Ivie Obeime said.

It is also the last time for the seniors to claim the Monon Spike.

Senior middle blockers Ashley Benson and Taylor Wittmer haven’t had the Monon Spike since their freshman year. Teammates want to help them bring back the Spike in their final rivalry match.

“Ashley and Taylor being seniors, we want to win this one for them,” Thrower said.

Dunbar added that bringing back the Spike to Bloomington for the seniors and proving how dynamic the team is on the road is the significance of this match.

“We definitely don’t want to be known as just a home team,” Dunbar said. “We definitely want to be a great volleyball team wherever we are.”

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