Injuries to outside hitters have forced IU volleyball to have little depth for most of the season, and it does not appear to be getting any better.
On Saturday, just a few points after recording her 700th career kill against No. 6 Minnesota, junior Kendall Beerman left the game after a lower body injury.
“The doctors are talking about it and dealing with it,” IU Coach Steve Aird said. “We’ll have more information on it soon. When the doctors tell me what’s going on, we’ll make a decision.”
No more information was given on the specifics of her injury. However, she sent out a tweet Monday in which she called her injury “another opportunity to attack this and come back even better next year.”
The team is looking to keep Beerman in high hopes during this time.
“Right after we heard it, all of us talked to her,” Elizabeth Asdell said. “Just making sure she’s doing well.”
For now, the team will move forward and focus on matchups against Michigan State on Friday and Michigan on Saturday.
Regardless of who is in the lineup for IU, the team will look for a win.
“I’m a big believer in you get the cards you have and you play them,” Aird said. “You stay positive. You work. You get back in the gym and work.”
This is IU’s first time playing back-to-back nights in Big Ten Conference play. However, the team played four road invitationals in nonconference play to prepare themselves for situations like this.
“We’re comfortable traveling,” Aird said. “The group is a really good group of kids. They’re low-maintenance, and I think they’re grateful.”
With no midweek game, IU will have had nearly a week to prepare for Michigan State come Friday.
“It matters just because what you want to make sure of is that you get back to some basics and fundamental stuff,” Aird said. “The kids like it because they can get some sense of normalcy with the rhythm of class and doing laundry and trying to be around here.”
Aird said the plan for the weekend and going forward with Beerman's injury will be a player by committee strategy.
“Team sports are team sports because everyone matters,” Aird said. “She was able to hit us out of trouble a bunch, so when you have that on your team it’s a luxury. When you don’t have that, it means everyone’s got to chip in.”
Whether Beerman is in the lineup or not will have no affect on the opportunity IU will have to capture road wins, which can be tough to come by in the Big Ten.
“It’s a different atmosphere. There’s some real live crowds there that want to be in your face,” Asdell said. “To win on the road in the Big Ten, is possibly one of the hardest things to do, but it’s an exciting opportunity.”
The Hoosiers will carry an 11-4 overall record and 2-2 confernce record into the weekend. Both games will have first serve at 7 p.m.