Indiana Daily Student

IU ends nonconference play with perfect weekend

<p>Then-junior Samantha Fogg dives to return the ball against the Penn State on Oct. 21, 2017. IU opens its 2018 season this weekend in Las Vegas.</p>

Then-junior Samantha Fogg dives to return the ball against the Penn State on Oct. 21, 2017. IU opens its 2018 season this weekend in Las Vegas.

In Bloomington, the Hoosier faithful was celebrating a 3-0 start to IU football’s season.

But on the road, IU volleyball was celebrating a 3-0 weekend in Cincinnati. The Hoosiers were able to take down Xavier and Cincinnati on Friday before defeating Eastern Kentucky in straight sets on Saturday. 

IU, now 9-2, has seen its freshmen play major roles this season, but Breana Edwards has stood out as she was able to extend her streak of games with double-digit kills to seven. 

“She’s growing up,” IU Coach Steve Aird said. “It’s the beauty of getting the opportunity to play right away as a freshman, is that you get to learn and gather experience really quickly. She’s got a whole bunch of things to improve on, but she’s early in her career and she’s off to a great start.”

IU was able to pull out a five-set win against Cincinnati on Friday, marking the third time the team has gone the distance to pull out a win this season.

“The kids are battling and competing,” Aird said. “If you don’t feel like you’re at an elite skill level, the great equalizer is how hard you play. That’s something we’re getting better at every week.”

The conclusion of this weekend for the team also marks the end of nonconference play for IU.

The Hoosiers will now come home on Friday to take on Northwestern. 

A big part of Aird’s message when he took over as IU’s coach was the environment he and his staff would try to create at home games.

From pregame tailgates to music between each point, Aird said he and the team are ready to get home play rolling.

“It’s going to be fun,” Aird said. “We’re going to do our best to make it a pretty surreal experience if you show up for the party.”

Another big part of IU’s return to Bloomington for Aird will simply be the comfort of playing at home.

“Getting home to be able to sleep in our own beds and spend more than three days in Bloomington will be fun,” Aird said. 

Last season IU began the year going 11-1 before going 1-19 in conference play.

The team will look to turn that around when it plays the Wildcats at 7 p.m. Friday at University Gym. 

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