Indiana volleyball played in front of its first-ever sellout crowd at Wilkinson Hall on Saturday against No. 2 Nebraska. The Hoosiers shocked the Huskers in the first set with a 25-23 upset, but lost the following three sets 23-25, 15-25 and 19-25. The match marked the second of Indiana’s four nationally televised matches airing on the Big Ten Network.
“Fun night,” Indiana head coach Steve Aird said postgame. “I thought it was a great atmosphere. It’s one of the best crowds we’ve ever had here.”
A pumped-up student section and an electric opening to the match from Indiana led Nebraska to take a quick timeout while down 8-5. Halfway through the middle of the first set Indiana had not cooled off, hitting .385 as a team and up 19-15 on the Huskers. Nebraska’s defense struggled early, missing tipped balls and lacking communication across the court, allowing the Hoosiers to capitalize.
“It’ll take a special team to beat Nebraska.” Aird said after defeating Iowa on Friday.
In the first set, the Hoosiers showed their potential, hitting .351 as a team with 14 kills and only one error. Indiana played the first set without one of their top performers in junior outside hitter Mady Saris, but senior outside Morgan Geddes stepped up with four kills on seven swings.
Nebraska bounced back to start the second set, finding their rhythm and quickly jumping out to a lead. Indiana later found its groove and both teams settled back in. A back-and-forth middle portion of the set led to a media timeout with Nebraska leading 15-13. However, directly out of the timeout sophomore outside Avry Tatum had two crucial kills followed by Alonso-Corcelles' block putting the Hoosiers up by one, ensuing a Cornhusker timeout.
Both teams traded points throughout the second set. The first ace of the match came from Indiana junior setter Camryn Haworth to knot the set at 22, leading to a Husker timeout. Nebraska successfully challenged a couple of critical calls officials made toward the end of the set. Those overturned calls and a shanked pass off a kill from Husker freshman outside hitter Harper Murray helped Nebraska close out the set, winning 25-23.
Nebraska started off the third set just as they ended the second — with another successful challenge. The Cornhuskers followed that up with a quick run, forcing Indiana to take a timeout down 6-2.
After not playing the opening two sets, Indiana elected to sub in Saris in hopes of an offensive spark while down 12-7 in the set. The Hoosiers struggled offensively in the third set, allowing Nebraska to capitalize and win the set 25 to 15. Indiana finished with seven kills and seven errors in the match, hitting .000 as a team. Nebraska hit .333 with 14 kills on 30 swings in the third set.
The fourth set was full of quick-hitting offense on both sides. After two serve receiving errors from the Hoosiers, Aird took a timeout down 12-8. Indiana struggled with consistency in their attacks, hitting balls long or off to the side and ending the set with seven errors. Indiana fought off two match points prompting a final timeout from Nebraska before a kill from the Huskers sealed the set 19-25 and ended the match.
Indiana fought hard against it’s highly-ranked competitor, but Nebraska came out on top. Nebraska bested Indiana in most statistical categories with 65 kills and 53 digs compared to Indiana’s 43 and 39, respectively. However, Indiana was dominant in the blocking category, winning 11-2.
After back-to-back games this weekend, the Hoosiers have six days off before traveling to State College, Pennsylvania, to face No. 15 Penn State. The match is set for Oct 6. at 7 p.m. on Big Ten Plus.