Indiana Daily Student

IU volleyball swept by Purdue for the second time, extends losing streak to six

<p>Sophomore setter Emily Fitzner and freshman middle blocker Leyla Blackwell go up for a block against Purdue on Feb. 23 at Wilkinson Hall. IU fell 3-0 to No. 11 Purdue on Sunday in West Lafayette, Indiana.</p>

Sophomore setter Emily Fitzner and freshman middle blocker Leyla Blackwell go up for a block against Purdue on Feb. 23 at Wilkinson Hall. IU fell 3-0 to No. 11 Purdue on Sunday in West Lafayette, Indiana.

IU volleyball was swept in three sets by Purdue for the second time on Sunday after losing in three sets Tuesday. The Hoosiers are now 2-10 on the season.

In the match Tuesday, IU recorded fewer blocks and more service errors than average. The Hoosiers weren’t able to remedy that, only recording three blocks and hitting .055 with 30 kills on the night. 

“Purdue is a great veteran team,” head coach Steve Aird said after the match. “We are still learning and growing every day.”

The first set was the most competitive of the night with Purdue winning 25-18. Senior setter Brooke Westbeld recorded four of IU’s nine kills in the set, followed by freshman outside hitter Tommi Stockham with two. The only block in the set came from a combination of Westbeld and freshman middle blocker Leyla Blackwell.

IU’s energy dropped significantly in the second set. The Hoosiers lost 25-11 and allowed multiple unanswered scoring runs from the Boilermakers. Purdue took advantage of holes in IU’s back-row defense and recorded 14 blocks in the set.

The Hoosiers put up a strong fight in the third set against the Boilermakers, but they lost 25-16. Freshman outside hitter Morgan Geddes recorded four kills in the set, with two coming while Purdue had more than 20 points.

Stockham, who faced especially strong Boilermaker blocks on Tuesday, encountered the same problem on Sunday. However, after recording two kills in the first set, she was able to gain some momentum to post four in each of the following sets.

Stockham finished with 10 kills, the most for the Hoosiers this game. However, she had a hitting percentage of -.025 with 11 attack errors. Westbeld led the team in hitting percentage with .250 and recorded a season-high seven kills.

The Boilermakers hit a total of 42 kills on the night with only nine attack errors. Senior outside hitter Caitlyn Newton led the team with 12 kills and four errors.

The Hoosiers were also able to improve on some aspects of play on Sunday. They only recorded five service errors compared to their nine on Tuesday, and they increased their number of digs against Purdue’s strong offense from 27 to 38.

Sophomore defensive specialist Haley Armstrong and redshirt freshman outside hitter Ashley Zulauf led the team with 11 digs each, followed by Stockham with six. Zulauf’s 11 digs were a career high.

Zulauf is one of many IU players who has had strong performances during the season and set new career highs, which is what Aird has said the goal of this season is.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to be playing, and each day is an opportunity to get better,” Aird said.

IU is scheduled to play Maryland at home March 5 and 6, though Maryland postponed its most recent match against Penn State due to COVID-19.

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