Hoosiers Victorious Over Illini, 3-2
Oct. 22, 2005
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Indiana volleyball squad rubbed out a five-match losing streak to Illinois with a 3-2 (30-22, 24-30, 30-22, 26-30, 15-12) conquest over the Illini to improve to 9-13 (2-8 Big Ten) on the season. In an emotion-filled contest, Indiana refused to lose in a nailbiter that featured 20 ties and eight lead changes. Overall, a sterling service game along with a stout defensive effort snared the triumph for IU.
"Tonight was a huge win for us," Indiana head coach Katie Weismiller said. "We have been competing with everyone lately, and this just got us over the hump. It is very rewarding to capture this victory. We have been in matches with some of the top teams in the country, and finally the breaks went our way and we came out on top."
As a team, Indiana accounted for seven service aces, 13 team blocks, 22 block assists and 58 digs.
Individually, senior outside hitter Rachel Gerling paced IU with a career-high 20 kills along with 10 digs to tally a double-double. Meanwhile, senior middle blocker Mandy Eberle recorded 14 kills, while freshman outside hitter Erica Short put down 12 of her own.
"It just feels great to get a win like this," Eberle said. "It is a great confidence booster. It was a team effort, as our passing and setting were great and we played with high energy."
"I did not start out that well, defensively," Diehl said. "(Volunteer assistant coach) Eugene (Kim) really stayed on me after that. He helped me figure out where to be. If not for his coaching, I don't think I would have done it."
Indiana rolled out of the locker room in the first frame to capture a 30-22 victory and take a 1-0 lead. In the game, the Hoosiers out-hit Illinois, .263-.109.
Illinois responded in the second stanza with a 30-24 victory in a tightly-contested game that featured five ties and three lead changes.
IU continued the see-saw affair with another dominant 30-22 triumph to take a 2-1 lead. Once again, the Hoosiers hammered Illinois to the tune of a .345 hitting clip.
Illinois demonstrated some grit by countering with a 30-26 win to knot the game at 2-2.
Fortunately, the Hoosiers salted away the victory with a 15-12 conquest in the fifth frame by out-hitting Illinois, .280-.056.
The triumph over the Illini is the first for the Hoosiers since a similar 3-2 battle in Champaign, Ill., on Oct. 18, 2002.
Next up, the Hoosiers return to the road for a pair of Big Ten matches. On Oct. 28, IU battles Iowa at 7 p.m., before tangling with Minnesota on Oct. 29 at 7 p.m.
Check back soon