A rivalry win and the Monon Spike were on the line Wednesday night as Indiana volleyball hosted No. 15 Purdue. In front of Indiana’s largest crowd ever of 2,725, the Hoosiers beat a ranked opponent inside Wilkinson Hall.
Indiana was in search of its first win against Purdue since 2012 and to grab the traveling trophy, the Monon Spike, for the first time since 2007. Purdue entered the match on a 21-game win streak against Indiana and 38-10 all-time.
“It was a party all night,” Indiana head coach Steve Aird said after the game.
The opening set was a back-and-forth battle, which Indiana took 25-23. Freshman libero Ramsey Gary and junior setter Camryn Haworth were all over the place in the first set, working together in tandem digging and setting balls no matter the place on the court.
At the beginning of the set, the Boilermakers had three service errors and an attacking error. Then Purdue junior middle blocker Raven Colvin produced two kills to lead a Boilermakers run to the media timeout up 15-12.
After the Purdue run, Indiana responded, and the set went back to trading ties and leads. Down 21-20, Indiana elected for a timeout after multiple extended rallies. Right away the Hoosiers regained the lead, and it was the Boilermakers’ turn to take a timeout down. Indiana closed out the set winning 25-23 led by sophomore outside hitter Candela Alonso-Corcelles with five kills.
The second set opened with a pair of Purdue blocks and multiple Indiana attacking errors, prompting an Indiana timeout down 8-3 early in the set. Out of the timeout Indiana found its groove, then two straight net violations by the Boilermakers cut the Hoosiers’ deficit to one, 11-10.
By trading points through the middle of the set, Purdue pulled away from a couple of crafty attacks to go up 20-16. Late service aces and strong hitting helped Purdue take the second set 25-17.
Indiana struggled offensively with eight errors in the second set. The Boilermakers capitalized on the errors from the Hoosiers hitting a blistering .429 as a team.
The opening of the third set was close, tied at six, before Indiana was able to go on a small 3-0 run. After a Purdue answer of its own, a kill from senior outside hitter Morgan Geddes and an Indiana block put the Hoosiers back up 13-10.
Indiana seemed to turn things around from their set two ending, as a Gary service ace brought the third set media timeout with the Hoosiers up 15-11. Sophomore outside hitter Avry Tatum — a heavy swinger — fired on full blast through the middle of the third set with a shot down the line to pick up her seventh kill of the match.
Indiana found a way to separate itself in a tough-fought set after a Haworth ace to lead 21-15. Haworth was unstoppable towards the end of the third with two service aces and an overpass serve leading to set point up 24-15. Indiana made a statement in the third and went up 2-1 in the match, winning set three 25-16.
“I looked at every player and told them this set is for the program, university and for every single one of us,” Tatum said post-match.
That it was — the Hoosiers took the fourth set 25-17 and sealed the win over Purdue.
The Hoosiers continued to run in the fourth quickly going up 6-2. Senior middle blocker Savannah Kjolhede made a massive block to prompt a Purdue timeout down 9-4. If it was not an Indiana kill or block, it was a net violation for the Boilermakers. Two straight violations and their sixth of the match put the Hoosiers up 12-6.
Indiana’s scrappy defense kept them ahead and alive through the set, and nothing came easy for the Boilermakers. Another Purdue net violation and an attacking error put the Hoosiers three points away from taking the set before a Purdue service error and a Tatum kill sealed the match for the Hoosiers.
Purdue struggled to limit its errors, ending with 11 service errors, eight blocking errors and seven net violations. Both Tatum and Alonso-Corcelles ended the match with 12 kills. Haworth had an all-around night with 40 assists, eight kills, nine digs and a trio of service aces.
After their first ranked win inside Wilkinson Hall, the Hoosiers will gear up for another Big Ten home game, this time against Michigan. The Wolverines enter the match 1-5 in conference play under new head coach Erin Virtue. The match is at 7 p.m. Saturday and will be live for viewing on Big Ten+.
Follow reporter Michael Livingston (.@mblivingston_) for updates throughout the Indiana volleyball season.