Indiana volleyball traveled to Atlanta to play in the Georgia Tech Classic this Thursday and Friday. Indiana lost all three games against Mississippi State University, the University of Oklahoma and the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Indiana played their first game against Mississippi State on Thursday. The match went into five sets with scores of 25-23, 31-33, 25-22, 23-25 and 10-15, leaving the Hoosiers with a 3-2 loss.
On Friday, Indiana faced Oklahoma in another five game match with scores of 25-22, 22-25, 25-15, 18-25 and 13-15, resulting in another five-set, 3-2 loss.
“We've been in five five-game matches this year,” Aird said. “There hasn't been a game where we haven’t competed and I think that's the number one step. The team’s got to compete.”
Head coach Steve Aird said it was difficult going from this five game match against Oklahoma to a match with Georgia Tech later that same day, but that the team competed really well. Indiana finished the weekend losing 3-1 against Georgia Tech, which is ranked No. 21.
Aird said he prepared the team for the weekend knowing they would face three Power 5 schools, a difficult test for the Hoosiers. Adding to it, starter Cari Zumach suffered an ankle injury in Western Michigan and is still unable to play, further altering Indiana’s game plan.
Zumach’s injury meant a different lineup for Indiana, and Aird said he tried to move players around and experiment. He said sophomore Morgan Geddes and freshman Camryn Haworth gave good contributions, and Haworth had 15 assists against Mississippi State.
“Losing Cari is a big deal because she's a really good player and her numbers would certainly indicate that, so we had to scramble a little bit this week to put in the lineup.”
This year, many of Indiana’s players are new to the team, being either freshmen or transfer players. Aird said the newcomers are making fantastic contributions this season. Junior Kaley Rammelsberg transferred from High Point University to Indiana last year and led the team with 16 kills against Georgia Tech.
Aird said the team is starting to gel and the Georgia Tech game was the best performance he’s seen the team put on so far, but that they just faced a team that was a little ahead of where they are.
“You don't want to go to a tournament and go 0 in 3, but I thought we saw a lot of good things,” Aird said. “I love the fight from the group. I thought they competed hard and there's no shame in losing to good programs on the road.”
Next weekend, the Hoosiers will return home for the first time in nearly two years for the Indiana Invitational. After three weeks on the road, Aird said he looks forward to playing on home courts.
“It's certainly been a challenge for the kids and they've been troopers and competed really hard so it will be nice to be back home,” Aird said.