IU volleyball opened its 2021 season by participating in the Top Dawg Challenge in Indianapolis, where the team defeated three different schools in two days.
When facing the University of Illinois Chicago on Friday, IU started out behind in the first set but regained the lead to win 27-25. The Hoosiers then went on to dominate the next two sets 25-17 and 25-12, respectively, highlighting talent in both the defense and offense.
Freshman outside hitter Mady Saris, junior middle blocker Kaley Rammelsburg and senior outside hitter Breana Edwards recorded nine kills each. The team combined for 38 kills in three sets.
Defensively, IU put up 12 blocks compared to UIC’s four. Rammelsburg and sophomore middle blocker Savannah Kjolhede led the way with five each.
IU faced a more challenging opponent in Bowling Green State University for its first game Saturday, losing sets three and four but coming back in the fifth set to pull out the win 15-12.
Edwards was first for the Hoosiers with 18 kills, and Saris and Rammelsburg both recorded double-digit kills against the Falcons. Junior defensive specialist Paula Cerame notched 26 digs.
IU took on host team Butler University in their second and final match for Saturday, winning the first two sets 25-22 and 25-18, respectively. Fatigue began to show in the third set, but IU pushed through to win 26-24.
IU recorded 36 kills and 46 digs against Butler, with Rammelsburg recording a team-high of eight kills. She also put up five blocks, combining with Kjolhede to notch 10 of the 14 total blocks. The Bulldogs, on the other hand, only put up five blocks in all three sets.
In beating the Bulldogs, the Hoosiers also cemented their sweep of the Top Dawg Challenge itself and began their 2021 season with a 3-0 record.
IU will continue its season at the Discover Kalamazoo Classic in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Sept. 3-4.