Sophomore outside hitter Kamryn Malloy fully extended to dive after the ball. Her pass landed in the hands of freshman middle blocker Lexi Johnson, and she set up junior middle blocker Hayden Huybers for a kill that would close out the second set.
Malloy was just one example of players going full extension to save a point, giving IU Coach Steve Aird some hustle to be proud of.
“Good things happen when you play hard,” Aird said. “If you go hard every single day — and you play hard and you play the right way — when you need it, it shows up.”
That second set win was sandwiched by wins in the first and third set, giving IU a sweep against Ohio State and second consecutive Big Ten Conference win.
The win came after the team had nearly a full week off, and the rest proved its worth when the Hoosiers came out a won the first set 25-19.
“The rest might have been the best thing,” Aird said. “We only have who we have, we don’t have any subs. Trying to keep them healthy is the most important thing right now.”
This was IU’s second win against Ohio State this season, after winning in Columbus, Ohio, on Sept. 26.
This was the team’s first season sweep of Ohio State since 2008 and the first sweep in a game against them since 1999.
“Especially against a great Ohio State team, that was a big deal for us to sweep them,” Huybers said. “That’s definitely a confidence booster.”
The win against Ohio State was also part of IU’s Dig Pink Night. The promotion was aimed at raising awareness for breast cancer.
It was especially an important night for Aird, whose mother has battled breast cancer.
“It’s an important thing for me to acknowledge the people and the effort and the energy, not only to the people that we’ve lost, but also to the people who are battling it,” Aird said. “Cancer affects everyone. It’s a lot more important than any ballgame that we play.”
It will be a quick turnaround for IU as it will play host to Maryland on Sunday.
Aird said the team spent the time off preparing for Ohio State, so the attention shift toward Maryland will need to be quick. However, the team hopes the momentum from the two straight wins will carry over.
“Momentum is the key in the Big Ten, especially later in the season” senior Elizabeth Asdell said. “Games like these, you win and move right on to the next one. We’re already thinking about Maryland.”
This will be the first time Aird will face Maryland since he was hired at IU. He spent time as Maryland’s head coach from 2014-2017.
First serve for the match will be at 1 p.m.