Indiana volleyball beat the odds, winning both of its matches against Big Ten opponents this weekend.
Indiana got its first win Friday evening with a five-set victory against Northwestern. The Hoosiers then traveled to Ohio State, taking the win from the No. 5 team in the nation on Sunday afternoon to complete the weekend sweep.
For the first time in over 12 years, Indiana has eight Big Ten wins in a single season.
The Hoosiers’ star of the Northwestern match was sophomore setter Camryn Haworth. The team captain collected a triple-double, making her the second player to do so in the Big Ten this season. Alongside Haworth’s career-high of 10 kills, she had 37 assists, 11 digs and a notable seven blocks.
When Indiana’s offense could not push the tempo throughout Friday’s match, the defense picked up the slack. Junior middle blocker Savannah Kjolhede contributed nine blocks in the match to go along with senior libero middle blocker Paula Cerame’s 23 digs. Collectively, the Hoosiers blocked the Wildcats 18 times — a season high.
The match came down to the final stages of the fifth set. After an attack error from Northwestern, Indiana led the set 13-11. Wildcat senior middle blocker Desiree Becker responded with a kill, allowing Northwestern to inch toward retaking the lead.
However, Indiana kept its focus as junior outside hitter Morgan Geddes delivered a crucial kill to advance Indiana’s lead to 14-12. With the help of another Northwestern attack error, Indiana found the final point of the set and won the five-set thriller 3-2.
After breaking its five-match losing streak, Indiana’s mindset shifted to Sunday’s match with No. 5 Ohio State.
Geddes came through for the Hoosiers once again late in the first set, delivering back-to-back kills to level the score 24-24. However, Buckeye senior Adria Powell answered with back-to-back kills of her own to win the set.
The Hoosiers won the next two sets by 25-17, giving them the lead of 2-1.
Ohio State had an enormous run of points late in the fourth set, widening its lead to 18-12. Indiana gradually tightened the game but never took control of the set. Ohio State won the fourth match 25-20 to force a fifth set in the Covelli Center.
Late in the fifth set, the Buckeyes came one point away from winning the match, but Indiana rallied back. Junior middle blocker Kaley Rammelsberg denied the Buckeyes their final point by dispatching a necessary kill.
Cerame then transitioned to the service line down 14-13, which sparked a rally that ended in a kill by sophomore middle blocker Savannah Kjoldhede. With the score tied at 14-14, the match came down to the ensuing two rallies.
Sophomore outside hitter Mady Saris earned the final two points of the game in the form of kills. With those plays, the Hoosiers pulled off the upset against the top-five Buckeyes, instilling themselves into Indiana volleyball history.
For the first time in program history, Indiana has beaten two ranked teams on the road in the same season. Indiana’s record improves to 15-15 after the pair of weekend wins. The team will head home to face Illinois at 5 p.m. Wednesday in Wilkinson Hall.