After picking up its first conference win of the season Oct. 20, IU volleyball has now dropped its last five matches, four of which have been 3-0 sweeps.
The two most recent straight-sets losses came this past weekend against Iowa and No. 7 Nebraska.
Both matches were played on the road, and in both matches, the Hoosiers struggled to find offense.
IU finished with a negative hitting percentage in both matches.
IU also scored its least amount of points in a set this season with eight in the first set against Nebraska on Saturday night. The most points IU scored in a set this weekend was just 16.
The Hoosiers posted 13, 14 and 16 points against Iowa and 8, 14 and 13 versus Nebraska.
“Both teams were a little more physical than we were, and we just didn’t deal with it very well,” IU Coach Sherry Dunbar-Kruzan said.
According to Dunbar-Kruzan, the story of the weekend was just that IU didn’t play well.
IU’s conference record is now 1-13, but before this weekend, the team had been playing at high level and getting closer to picking up more conference wins. Dunbar-Kruzan said before the Iowa match, everyone was feeling really good from the momentum they have gotten from the last few matches.
After Friday's loss in Iowa City, Iowa, the IU team got up Saturday morning and re-watched the match. They didn’t look at the tape for Nebraska because Dunbar-Kruzan wanted them to focus on themselves for the upcoming match rather than the Cornhuskers.
Dunbar-Kruzan said playing against the seventh-best team in the nation with 10,000 fans rooting against IU was hard to replicate in practice, thus leading to IU not handling the pressure very well in the match.
However, she was pleased with the performance of two of her freshmen, defensive specialist Bayli Lebo and outside hitter Kamryn Malloy. Lebo registered eight digs against Iowa and 13 digs in the Nebraska match, and Malloy’s passing was on point and impressive in both matches.
As a team, the Hoosiers struggled to halt the runs of both the Hawkeyes and the Cornhuskers.
“I think that was our biggest nemesis this weekend,” Dunbar-Kruzan said. “We were trying to get out of those runs, and you only have two timeouts, so we were just trying to get everyone calm and confident so they could control the controllable.”
The Hoosiers are now 12-14 overall on the season with six matches remaining.