Indiana volleyball played a pair of home–and–away matches this past weekend after beating both Michigan State and Michigan on the road last weekend. Indiana first faced Rutgers on Friday night in Bloomington before traveling to No. 12 Purdue on Sunday afternoon.
Much of the Hoosier crowd in Wilkinson Hall was seen wearing costumes in honor of Indiana’s Halloween-weekend match against Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights stole the third set which momentarily slowed the Hoosiers down, but Indiana won the match 3-1.
Indiana started the first set on a 5-0 run with sophomore outside hitter Camryn Haworth serving for the team. Sophomore outside hitter Mady Saris extended Indiana’s lead to 12-2 in the same set with an alert block at the net. Saris recorded four total blocks on the night. Rutgers was unable to make the first set competitive and Indiana won the opening frame 25-13.
With kills from senior middle blocker Kaley Rammelsberg and Saris, the Hoosiers opened the second set with a 4-1 lead. They forced the Scarlet Knights to take a second timeout after junior middle blocker Savannah Kjolhede delivered an ace, putting the Hoosiers ahead 12-6. The second set ended with back-to-back kills from junior outside hitter Morgan Geddes, granting the Hoosiers a 25-17 win.
The Hoosiers trailed for most of the third set until senior defensive specialist Paula Cerame dispatched a service ace to put the team up 19-18.
After a service error by Rutgers, Indiana tied the score at 25 apiece. However, Rutgers found the final two points of the third set and extended the match to a fourth set.
Another crucial kill by Saris put Indiana up 7-2 in the fourth set. Indiana later went on a 3-0 run with kills from Geddes and Rammelsberg, positioning the team with a 14-6 lead. Indiana stayed in front of Rutgers the entire game and closed the fourth set with a kill from Kjolhede. Indiana won the fourth set 25-14 and took the first match of the weekend 3-1.
After the win, Saris spoke about the Hoosiers’ mindset that contributed to the team’s four-match winning streak in the Big Ten.
“We are always playing good teams in the Big Ten, whoever you got," Saris said. “It is about how we play not how they play.”
After the hard-fought win, Indiana had a quick turnaround to West Lafayette, Indiana, the following Sunday. The Hoosiers couldn’t beat the top-25 Boilermakers on the road and fell short to their in-state -rival 3-1.
Indiana won the first set 25-18, with the help of Cerame and her four service aces in the same frame, but then lost the next three sets by a combined 33 points in non-competitive fashion.
The loss to Purdue breaks Indiana’s four-match winning streak and puts the Hoosiers’ record at 6-6 in the Big Ten.
Indiana will continue playing on the road and face Nebraska at 9 p.m. Wednesday in Lincoln, Nebraska. The match will be broadcast on BTN+.