Indiana volleyball lost two matches last week, losing in three sets to Nebraska on Wednesday and dropping another three set match with Minnesota on Saturday.
Head coach Steve Aird said the team competed well against No. 9 Nebraska. He said Indiana lacked experience in Big Ten environments like the Devaney Center, since the majority of the roster had never played there.
“I think so much of it is about the experience of playing in the Big Ten and in front of big crowds in big atmospheres,” Aird said. “Players get better over time when they are more comfortable in those environments and we just don't have a team that's been in those environments very often.”
Indiana lost to Nebraska with scores of 25-13, 25-15 and 25-15. Senior Breana Edwards had six kills, senior Kari Zumach had five and freshman Mady Seris had four. Edwards kicked off the third set giving Indiana a two-point advantage.
With Nebraska needing one point to take the match, points by Rammelsburg and Edwards extended the match before Nebraska won the third set 25-15.
On Sunday, Aird said the team battled from the first to the last whistle against No. 12 Minnesota and that the team made a big jump from the Nebraska match.
Sophomore middle blocker Savannah Kjolhede scored the first point of the game, but Minnesota took a 5-2 lead shortly after.
Down 19-10 sophomore hitter Morgan Geddes and Edwards made two kills, but Minnesota took the first set 25-15.
The Hoosiers scored the first point in the second and third sets. Despite senior Kari Zumach preventing the final match point, the Gophers won the game in three sets with scores of 25-15, 25-16 and 25-21.
“I thought we were in games two and three and we had windows and opportunities to win those games, we just made some errors at crucial times,” Aird said. “It's about maturity and consistency and I think those things will come.”
Freshman setter Camryn Haworth suffered an upper body injury and was unable to compete on Sunday, but Aird said that graduate student Brooke Westbeld did a great job coming in off the bench.
Edwards had 13 kills against Minnesota and Geddes matched her season high of 10 kills.
“I thought Bri was fantastic,” Aird said. “Defensively, we were only out-dug by maybe three balls. The big difference in the match was the number of unforced hitting errors. We had 15 balls that we hit out, which is just way too many.”
Edwards tied the third set 20-20 but the Hoosiers were unable to hang on and the Gophers took the final set 25-21.
Aird said he was encouraged by the Minnesota match and that the team took another step forward.
“I think we were just a little too high error and hit too many balls out but there were long stretches where we were toe for toe and battled hard,” Aird said.
Next up, Indiana will play Michigan at 7 p.m. Oct. 20 in Wilkinson Hall. Michigan is currently 4-4 in the conference and 11-6 overall. Indiana is now 2-6 in the conference and 8-12 overall.