Tied 1-1 and up 20-19 in its third set, Indiana volleyball committed a service error and took two aces from No. 11 Nebraska. Indiana head coach Steve Aird called a timeout, but Indiana went on to drop set three 25-22 and later lost 3-1 to Nebraska on Sunday at Wilkinson Hall.
“I thought we were okay in game two but the match was lost to me in game three,” head coach Steve Aird said.
Indiana tied the score of game one every couple points to start the match, and eventually gained a 15-9 advantage before Nebraska called a timeout.
After several kills by Nebraska junior outside hitter Madi Kubik, game one was at match point with Indiana up 24-22. Indiana senior outside hitter Kari Zumach scored the final point, which gave Indiana game one 25-23.
“They’re obviously a great team,” Aird said. “I think they started slow today. I thought we played well in game one. If a team is struggling they’re going to give you opportunities to be in it and you should take advantage of it.”
In set two, Nebraska took a 2-point lead early, then stretched the lead to 19-14 before Aird called a timeout. A service error by Nebraska and points by junior middle blocker Kaley Rammelsberg and sophomore outside hitter Morgan Geddes put Indiana down 22-17, then a kill by Nebraska freshman outside hitter Lindsay Krause ended set two with Indiana down 25-18.
Indiana won the first point of the fourth set, but Nebraska took 6 of the next 7 points and closed out the match with a 25-17 win.
“I thought the crowd was great and we fought until the end and that's really what you want to do,” Aird said. “I thought we had a lot of kids today who did some really good things and I was really proud of their effort.”
Aird said he saw good performances from Rammelsberg and sophomore middle blocker Savannah Kjolhede. Rammelsberg led Indiana with 11 kills, the same amount as Nebraska’s leader, senior outside hitter Lexi Sun, and Kjolhede had nine blocks against Nebraska.
“[Rammelsberg] had a good performance and she’s a kid who we want to get the ball to more,” Aird said. “Savannah’s numbers weren’t good in the middle offensively but I thought defensively she had a great night. She served well and she blocked well..”
Indiana dropped a three-set match on Friday night against No. 25 Illinois with scores of 25-11, 25-18 and 25-17 in Champaign, Illinois.
Indiana took a 2-0 lead after a service error from Illinois and a kill from Rammelsberg in the first set. Illinois came back to take the set 25-11. Aird said he thought the team needed to have played harder in game one, but that overall they were just outplayed.
“I thought we had a really good week of training heading into this match and kind of ran into a buzz saw,” Aird said. “I thought Illinois played great. I thought their libero and setter play were spectacular and it was one of those matches where kind of in every phase we got outplayed.”
In the second set Illinois had a 6-point run and in the third it had an 8-point run, giving them control over Indiana.
Aird said senior outside hitter Breana Edwards had a good match offensively. Edwards had nine kills and one block against Illinois.
“Sometimes I’m really disappointed with how we might’ve played or how we might’ve executed, but we just got beat tonight and that was just a better team on the road and they deserve full marks,” Aird said.
Indiana fell to 3-13 in conference play and is 9-19 overall this weekend.
Next up Indiana will play its second game with Illinois at 9 p.m. Nov. 19 at home in Wilkinson Hall.