Indiana Daily Student

IU looks to repeat first performance against Rutgers

Senior defensive specialist Kyndall Merritt hits the volleyball on Saturday evening at University Gym. Hoosiers falls three sets to No.8 Nebraska.
Senior defensive specialist Kyndall Merritt hits the volleyball on Saturday evening at University Gym. Hoosiers falls three sets to No.8 Nebraska.

Go for it.

That is the new motto and mentality for IU volleyball (13-13) as it prepares to travel and play against Rutgers (4-22) at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

This will be the second time IU has played Rutgers during the 2015-16 conference season. The two teams played against each other in early October, resulting in a match win (3-1) for IU.

This time the Hoosiers will have to play without the familiarity of their home court and adapt to the opposing side’s 
territory.

“I don’t think teams change dramatically over that time,” IU Coach Sherry Dunbar-Kruzan said. “We’ll see them do some different things, but I think both teams are better to a certain degree."

Both teams are fighting for a win and being on the road is going to be tough, but it’s going to be a good match.”

After a disappointing loss against Iowa last week, the Hoosiers made some noticeable improvements in their last match against Nebraska, such as a .286 hitting percentage compared to a .083 they hit against Iowa.

It’s something IU plans to continue going into its next game with the Scarlet Knights.

Senior middle blocker Chanté George said for the Hoosiers to win, they need to focus on communication, teamwork and the outcome as much as the current situation during matches.

“We’ve just come into practice with a new motto — go for it,” George said. “Not holding anything back in anything we do. It was a big difference in both games, and it’s relevant in practice so we definitely have to bring it out for the game.”

George said the team has been focused on film in order to break down what other teams have done successfully and to also point out noticeable differences from their previous Rutgers matches.

Even with those differences there is no way to predict how Rutgers will play Wednesday, but IU doesn’t anticipate them being inherently different than they were before.

“They’re already a really feisty team, and they can cause a lot of upsets just like us,” George said. “I feel like they are the same when we played them, and it was a tough match. We know this is going to be a tough match and we have to come out from the very beginning putting everything on the court and not holding anything back.”

Dunbar-Kruzan said if the Hoosiers can serve like they did during the match against Nebraska with aggressive passing and 
middle blocker involvement, the team is going to have a chance to take sets off come Wednesday night.

“They’re so much better than they were last year,” Dunbar-Kruzan said. “It’s good for the conference to see them fighting that hard, and that’s the way it should be. They’re not going to give us a win, we’re going to have to earn it, and we have to go in with that type of mentality.”

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