After battling Friday evening in Wilkinson Hall, Indiana volleyball lost a close match to No. 16 Penn State in straight sets. Looking at the bigger picture, the Hoosiers only lost the match by eight combined points.
Here are three key moments of the night that kept the game intense and competitive, despite Indiana’s loss:
First set: Timeout at 14-10
Early in the first set, sophomore outside hitter Camryn Haworth delivered a kill against a Penn State serve, putting Indiana ahead 13-10. After earning the point for her team, Haworth rotated behind the service line and dispatched a service ace.
Moments after the play, the Nittany Lions called a timeout to go over strategy as they trailed four points.
It was after this huddle that the crowd saw a momentum shift inside the gym. Penn State returned to the court with a 3-0 run, giving it control of the set again. Indiana continued exchanging spurts of points with Penn State before ultimately losing the first set 25-22.
Second set: 3-0 run by Indiana late
Indiana was down three points late in the second set when an attack error from Penn State granted the Hoosiers a much-needed point and possession of the ball. Indiana followed this play with a kill from junior outside hitter Morgan Geddes, compressing the gap to 19-18.
Directly after, Indiana junior middle blocker Savannah Kjolhede made an impressive play at the service line as Penn State delivered another attack error leveling the score to 19-19.
Despite losing the second set 25-23, this 3-0 run from the Hoosiers kept the match close.
Third set: Overruling of Saris’ kill late
Indiana trailed 23-22 when sophomore outside hitter Mady Saris delivered what was originally judged as a kill. This gave the Hoosiers a jolt of excitement and the point needed to tie the game.
However, before Indiana could continue its run, the referees flagged the play and put it under review.
The final ruling determined the play was a service error against Indiana, which put the Hoosiers behind 24-22. Penn State scored the final point of the night, granting them the straight-set win.
Head coach Steve Aird recognizes how close the Hoosiers are to reaching their potential and winning these close sets.
“We are right there," Aird said. "It is inches, not miles.”
Indiana will continue to fight this challenge as they travel to play No. 9 Minnesota at 3 p.m. Sunday on the road.