Indiana volleyball lost to No. 11 Minnesota for the second time this season Wednesday at home in Wilkinson Hall in three sets with scores of 25-20, 25-14 and 25-16.
Head coach Steve Aird said that the team was exhausted from its current game schedule, and although it battled the games got away from them.
“I don’t think it's the kids' fault,” head coach Steve Aird said. “I think they competed as hard as they could. We just played a team that was better than we were tonight and that's the nature of it and we're moving on.”
In set one, Minnesota took the lead, scoring the first two points. A service error by Minnesota middle blocker Katie Meyers gave Indiana its first point, and a point by Indiana freshman outside hitter Mady Seris left Indiana down 3-2.
After a service error by Indiana setter junior Emily Fitzner, Aird called a timeout with Minnesota at a 18-12 advantage.
Seris had Indiana's first service ace of the game and later made a point with Indiana down 24-18. Set one had three more serves by Seris at match point. Edwards and Rammelsberg both had blocks, putting Indiana down 24-20. A kill by Minnesota ended set one 25-20.
Indiana took the first two points of set two. It battled and tied the score at 2-2 and again at 3-3 before Minnesota took the lead with a serving streak by Minnesota sophomore setter Melani Shaffmaster.
Indiana struggled to return hits from Minnesota and sent multiple balls out. After a service ace by Shaffmaster, Indiana was down 9-3 and Aird called a timeout.
After taking the court again with Shaffmaster still serving, Minnesota's senior opposite, Stephanie Samedy, made the first point. Samedy was the game leader with 18 kills, one ace and 15 digs.
“Samedy, I think, is one of the best players in the country,” Aird said. “She had 18 kills. We didn’t have much of an answer for it. I think we looked tired and looked at times like we were trying to play really hard and just didn't have any gas in the tank.”
Despite points by Seris and senior Breana Edwards, Minnesota continued to widen the gap and took set two with a 25-14 win. Seris and Edwards both had eight kills throughout the night.
Indiana tied the score five times in set three between 5-5 and 11-11. However, set three started to slip and Aird called timeouts after Indiana went down 15-13 and again at 18-15.
Down 24-16, Indiana hit the ball out, leaving Minnesota with a 25-15 win in set three and a 3-0 win overall for the match.
Aird said the rigorous schedule left the team exhausted and its performance was sluggish as a result.
“We had a tough night from the endline,” Aird said. “We had a lot of balls that were mishit. They are an exceptional passing team, especially their libero I think is one of the better players in the country. We tried to keep the ball off of her but we ended up serving her 13 times.”
After its second loss to Minnesota, Indiana stands at 3-8 in the conference and has a 9-14 record overall. Indiana will face Northwestern at 7 p.m. Oct. 30 in Wilkinson Hall.