Indiana Daily Student

An early look at the 2022 Indiana volleyball season

<p>Then-junior defensive specialist Haley Armstrong digs the ball Sept. 17, 2021, in Wilkinson Hall. Indiana is scheduled to play 12 of its 32 regular season games at home in Bloomington.</p>

Then-junior defensive specialist Haley Armstrong digs the ball Sept. 17, 2021, in Wilkinson Hall. Indiana is scheduled to play 12 of its 32 regular season games at home in Bloomington.

This year, Indiana volleyball began its 48th season and its fifth season with head coach Steve Aird. The team has high aspirations for the 2022 season and is ready to display its adjustments and improvements made in the offseason. 

The team is scheduled to play 32 regular season matches with 12 of those games being played at Wilkinson Hall in Bloomington. Their Big Ten competition includes home-and-home matches with Maryland, Penn State, Michigan State, Ohio State, Purdue, Iowa and Wisconsin.

The team returns with a significant amount of familiar faces and veterans on the squad. Senior defensive specialist Paula Cerame and senior setter Emily Fitzner were named the 2022 captains, alongside sophomore Camyrn Haworth. Fourteen players return for the Hoosiers, while the other two new teammates are from overseas. Freshman outside hitter Candela Alosno-Corcelles joins the team from Madrid, Spain while freshman right side Melisa Ilter is from Bursa, Turkey.

Indiana volleyball hosted its Cream and Crimson Scrimmage WHEN in front of a home crowd at Wilkinson Hall. The Hoosier players and managers were split into two teams and played three sets —  the first two to 25 points and the final set to 15. The gym was filled with high energy as the student section cheered on the athletes while upbeat music blasted in the background. 

Aird spoke at the scrimmage about the team’s summer training and how excited he was for the new season to start. 

“I thought we had a great spring, capped off with the foreign trip, so we had extra time to train,” Aird said. “We’re returning a much more mature group than a year ago. I just think volleyball IQ and physicality have improved. Excited to get the season going.”

In May, the Indiana Daily Student published an investigation regarding Indiana volleyball head coach Steve Aird. The investigation’s allegations stem from interviews with six women who used to play for Aird — four of which at Indiana. They alleged the IU program under Aird is built around punishment and dismissiveness of mental abuse.

Aird addressed questions on the program August 27th  for the first time since the article ran. In two separate statements to the IDS, Indiana Athletics has stated new changes to the program were implemented with Aird’s cooperation. Aird said the changes have been slight in staffing and training.

[Related: What to know before Indiana volleyball’s three games this weekend in North Carolina

Associate head coach Spencer McLachlin, a new member of the Indiana staff, said he has equally high hopes for the team.  

“They are eager,” McLachlin said. “They want to be good so bad, and that is the first step. Coach Steve is always saying the best players want to be coached, and our girls really wanna be coached.”

Indiana opened up the season at home with a four-team tournament in Wilkinson Hall. The team went 2-1 in Bloomington beating Indiana State University and Chicago State University in straight sets. With 33 assists and 22 digs against ISU, Haworth earned Indiana’s first double double of the season. 

One year later, the Hoosiers got their revenge, beating CSU after coming up short against the Cougars a year before. Junior middle blocker Savannah Kjolhede was efficient at the net, collecting eight kills while hitting .727 across the three sets.

The following weekend, Indiana traveled to Christi Corpus, Texas, and competed in the Islanders Classic. The Hoosiers had a clean sweep of games Saturday, beating Sam Houston State University and Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. Indiana dominated and won both matches in a straight series. 

Indiana will travel to Raleigh, North Carolina, for the third week of the season to face North Carolina State University, Western Carolina University and Texas Christian University. The Big Ten regular season will begin for Indiana Sept. 23 against Penn State at University Park.

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