Indiana volleyball hosted Iowa in the first of two home matches this weekend. After splitting their opening weekend of Big Ten play, the Hoosiers beat the Hawkeyes in three straight sets 25-20, 25-19 and 25-16.
After a shaky back and forth beginning to set one of the match, junior setter Camryn Haworth was able to get the Hoosiers back into rhythm setting up the offense all across the court. Graduate student middle blocker Kaley Rammelsberg quickly paced the offense with five kills on five swings prompting the first Iowa timeout of the set.
The Hoosiers were crafty with their attacks, hitting off the hands of the blockers or opting for the tip over the block, putting Iowa out of system consistently in the opening set. Haworth had all 11 assists for Indiana in the opening set, leading to the Hoosiers’ offense firing at .189 hitting percentage. The Hawkeyes were held to .057 hitting percentage with eight kills and six errors. Indiana took the first set 25-20.
“Not all the pieces have sparked at once, but periodically a different piece sparks and leads the offense,” Indiana head coach Steve Aird said post-match.
Although the team won in three sets, Aird said he wants to see more from the team, coming together and firing on all cylinders at once instead of one position having a great match at a time.
The Hoosiers took the second set 25-19. Sophomore outside hitter Avry Tatum came out with the hot hand. Tatum utilized the smaller front line of the Hawkeyes, ripping balls down the line and through the seams to find the floor.
Both teams seemed to have settled into their games and flowed through the second set. However, the Hoosiers were able to keep the Hawkeyes off balance by finding the second contact dump or the off-speed attack to put it down against the Iowa defense.
The Hawkeyes capitalized on Indiana’s hitters while finding Indiana’s attackers and forcing them to pass the ball at a high rate in their backrow rotations. Both teams hit at a scorching pace — Iowa hit .419 while the Hoosiers hit .325 in the second set. Indiana middle blockers senior Savannah Kjolhede and Rammelsberg led the offense through two sets with eight and nine kills, respectively.
Tatum’s offensive prowess was consistent through the opening of the three sets. She was constantly active, reading the blockers and tipping balls to find open space. She had three quick kills in the opening points of the third set.
After another back and forth beginning to a set, back-to-back aces from Haworth prompted a Hawkeye timeout down 10-9. The aces sparked a run from Indiana leading to another Hawkeye timeout down 17-11. Offensively, the Hoosiers had their best set of the match hitting .353 as a team with 14 kills and only two errors.
Rammelsberg led the offense with 12 kills. Senior outside hitter Morgan Geddes, Tatum and Kjolhede put up nine kills apiece. Haworth had 37 assists, 10 digs and three aces to cap off her all-around night.
Coming off playing the number one team in the nation and looking ahead to No. 2 Nebraska, the Hoosiers were well prepared and did not overlook the Hawkeyes.
“We have yet to prepare for Nebraska; our focus this week was Iowa so far,” Haworth said post-match.
The Hoosiers now sit at 2-1 in conference play and 12-4 overall. After sweeping Iowa, the Hoosiers have a quick turnaround facing No. 2 Nebraska at home at 7 p.m. Saturday in front of their first-ever sold-out crowd in Wilkinson Hall. Nebraska is coming off a tough five-set victory over Purdue on Friday night in West Lafayette.