Indiana Daily Student

IU loses first game of the year in Fort Myers

Senior Defensive Specialist Kyndall Merritt and Junior Outside Hitter Taylor Lebo screams after Hoosier kills a point score November 7, 2015 at the University Gym. Hoosier falls three sets to No.8 Nebrashka.
Senior Defensive Specialist Kyndall Merritt and Junior Outside Hitter Taylor Lebo screams after Hoosier kills a point score November 7, 2015 at the University Gym. Hoosier falls three sets to No.8 Nebrashka.

IU tasted defeat for the first time this season Saturday at the hands of Florida Gulf Coast University. The Hoosiers finished the weekend 2-1 in Fort Myers, Florida, and their record now sits at 9-1.

IU got off to a sluggish start in its final match of the weekend against FGCU and dropped the first two sets. The Hoosiers did not go quietly, as they rallied back and won sets three and four before being outscored 15-12 in the final set.

“I was really proud of them,” IU Coach Sherry Dunbar-Kruzan said. “I thought we came out a little too excited and not as focused as we wanted to be. We settled in after the first set, should have won the second set but didn’t, and we stayed on what we needed to do. We came back and controlled the third and fourth set.”

Senior outside hitter Allison Hammond recorded a double-double with 11 digs and a career-high 21 kills in the loss.

Middle blockers senior Jazzmine McDonald, who had a .364 hitting percentage and 11 kills, and freshman Hayden Huybers, who had a .583 hitting percentage and nine kills, combined for 20 kills against the Eagles.

“When I look at this match, we fought ourselves all night more than we fought them,” Dunbar-Kruzan said. “When you look at the stats, we beat them in every statistical category except serving. The thing I really emphasize is that we need to continue to learn how to win, and we have to have that confidence in ourselves when we get in tough situations and believe we can do it.”

Senior libero Taylor Lebo continues to rack up the accolades. The defensive specialist accounted for 18 digs and three aces against FGCU. Her 114 career aces are good enough for eighth on the Hoosiers all-time list.

IU began the weekend on a strong note as they swept Marist on Friday and South Alabama on Saturday.

Lebo contributed five service aces against South Alabama, which tied her for the second most in school history for a three-set match. McDonald posted yet another efficient hitting percentage in this match at .643 and freshman Deyshia Lofton made a mark on the game with her six blocks, two of which were individual.

“It is a learning process,” Dunbar-Kruzan said. “We are 9-1, and we are doing some really good things. We were in absolute control over how we played, and we can take that as a positive from the weekend.”

The Hoosiers will play Arkansas State, IU-Purdue University Indianapolis and Cleveland State during the Hoosier Classic beginning this Friday in Bloomington.

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