After finding its fourth regular-season win against Rutgers, IU wants more, junior setter Megan Tallman said. The next step in finding another win begins when IU welcomes Michigan State to Bloomington at 7 p.m. Saturday.
“I think we play really well at home,” IU assistant coach Paul Koncir said. “To have them come to Bloomington is the best possible case for us. We’re going to have to be very inspired. It’s not going to come to us and wins aren’t just going to happen we’re going to make it happen.”
Much like the Hoosiers, the Spartans have been struggling both at home and on the road with six consecutive losses against Big Ten opponents such as Nebraska, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois.
A losing streak like that can either work in favor of or against the Hoosiers come Saturday night.
“Sometimes that motivates them even more to find a win,” Tallman said. “Michigan State is going to come out really hard against us. So it depends on how we come out and it’s about everyone striving for a win.”
Even though Michigan State has had recent struggles, they’ve been able to obtain six wins during this season, with one of those wins being against IU in the season opener.
“You win some, you lose some,” Koncir said. “Overall we’re in different phases of development. They’re riding that successful tradition and we’re currently building a tradition.”
Looking at some of the team’s toughest losses, IU has shown some strengths against Michigan State. When IU was shut out in three sets at Wisconsin, it had a .047 hitting percentage in comparison to Michigan State’s .012 hitting percentage.
The two teams had the same number of kills in their matches against Wisconsin. IU had a total of 25 kills whereas Michigan State had 24, but both teams had 84 team attempts.
“We talked about that we’re going to have to play extremely tough and extremely inspired,” Tallman said. “It’s about going all out having that emotion and passion. It’s going to be important to really fight for those wins.”
As a team that will be losing six of its players to graduation, IU wants to play as much volleyball with the seniors as possible while bringing home more wins to display the work they put into practice week in and week out.