volleyball

IU volleyball struggles against No. 17 Illinois, loses in straight sets



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IU celebrates a crucial point against Northwestern on Oct. 5 at Wilkinson Hall. The Hoosiers overpowered the Wildcats, 3-1. Joy Burton Buy Photos

For the second time in eight days, IU and No. 17 Illinois squared off Saturday night, this time in Champaign, Illinois. Once again, Illinois handled the Hoosiers in straight sets — 25-10, 25-13, and 25-14.

It was a struggle offensively for IU. The Hoosiers hit -.024 as a team, compared to the Illini’s .423. This is the first time this season the Hoosiers have finished a match with a negative hitting percentage.

While Illinois had eight service errors, the team made up for it by tallying nine aces. For IU, junior outside hitter Kamryn Malloy had the team’s only ace of the night and IU had three service errors.

Senior middle blocker Deyshia Lofton totaled five kills and four blocks, both team highs for IU. Freshman outside hitter Breana Edwards, IU’s kill leader on the season, was held to only one kill, a season-low for her.

The loss drops IU to 12-7 overall and 1-5 in conference. All five of IU’s Big Ten losses have come against ranked opponents, three of which where on the road. IU’s lone conference win was against unranked Northwestern on Oct. 5.

Now, IU faces a more manageable stretch as three of its next four games come against unranked teams, which is a blessing in the Big Ten.

The Hoosiers will play on the road next week at Maryland and Iowa, before coming back home to take on top-5 ranked Nebraska and Iowa once again.

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