For the first time since 2012, IU has lost its first eight Big Ten matches.
Loss number eight came Friday night to the No. 11 Wisconsin Badgers in Madison, Wisconsin, 3-0.
This was the fifth time in conference play the Hoosiers have lost without winning a set in the match.
Despite all the negative statistics, this was IU’s best 3-0 loss.
The Hoosiers mustered 13 kills and a hitting percentage of .323 in the first set. The Badgers are ranked No. 11 for a reason, and they had 18 kills and hit .467 to win the first set 25-21.
The difference in this match was consistency.
IU took an 8-3 lead to start the second set and sustained a lead until 18-16. The Badgers proceeded to go on a 3-0 run to take a 19-18 lead.
Junior right side hitter Elizabeth Asdell got a kill on the next play to even things up at 19.
That was the last point IU would score in the set as the Badgers went on a 6-0 run to win set two, 25-19.
“I thought we responded really well in the second set, which is something we’ve been working on this season,” IU Coach Sherry Dunbar-Kruzan said. “I thought we controlled the early part of the second set and even late we had a chance. Give Wisconsin credit for the way they battled back and closed out the second set.”
The Hoosiers got off to a slow start in the third set as they found themselves trailing by five, 11-6.
A team effort put IU back in the set, however.
In the next eight points, five different players scored for the Hoosiers.
Sophomore outside hitter Ally Badowski had two kills, as did Asdell, sophomore middle blocker Hayden Huybers and freshman outside hitter Kamryn Malloy each had one kill and sophomore defensive specialist Meaghan Koors served an ace. The other point was an error by Wisconsin.
With that the Hoosiers cut the Badger lead to 15-14, trying to stay alive in the match.
The aforementioned lack of consistency came into play as Wisconsin easily finished the match on a 10-3 run to win the third set 25-17.
The Badgers hit .409 in the deciding set while IU hit just .111.
Dunbar-Kruzan said the team is continuing to make steps forward and that she was happy with the performances of some of her young players.
Badowski had a career-high nine kills and Malloy went her fourth-straight match with double-digit kills, tallying up 10 in this match.
Despite the improved play, the results have all been the same.
The Hoosiers have 12 conference matches remaining and look to stop following the trend of the 2012 season, which resulted in a 4-16 conference record.
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