Oct. 30, 2009
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -
IU Volleyball overcame an 0-2 sets deficit and forced a fifth versus No. 6 Illinois Friday night inside University Gym; before eventually falling in the final frame (18-25, 17-25, 25-13, 28-26, 11-15).
"I'm mad we didn't win to be honest," said Head Coach Sherry Dunbar. "I'm very disappointed with the first two sets, we didn't come ready to beat a team like Illinois."
Whitney Thomas hit .600 (9-0-15) while fellow Bloomington High North grad, Ashley Benson, bounced 13 kills off the floor at a .355 hitting pace. Caitlin Cox recorded the most digs for IU, racking up 17 on the night. Benson combined with Mary Chaudoin for three blocks in the defensive front court. In addition, Jordan Haverly posted her eighth double-double of the year with 19 put-aways and 13 digs.
Indiana flipped the switch in the locker room between sets two and three, blasting the Fighting Illini, 25-13, in the third frame after dropping the opening two.
"Sometimes it takes us awhile to realize we can compete with a team ranked number six in the country. We need to be ready mentally to play from the very beginning."
The Hoosiers snagged seven of the first eight points for a six-point lead they would not relinquish. They would eventually pull away by as many as 12 points, including the 25-13 final tally. Indiana hit .464 (15-2-28) while limiting the Fighting Illini to a dismal .042 (6-5-24) hitting efficiency. Haverly finished off four of six attack attempts while Cox guided the defense with six dug balls.
Set number four was much tighter, but still ended with an Indiana `W.' Illinois burned their first timeout trailing 12-8 after Haverly blasted a kill off the Fighting Illini block attempt. It was then Indiana's turn to call a timeout as UI battled back to even the score at 14-14. Neither would take more than a two-point advantage the rest of the way. The raucous crowd gathered inside University Gym was given some free bonus volleyball as the set extended past the 25-point plateau. Haverly would finally end it with a kill set up by Whitney Granado, concluding a 28-26 Hoosier winner.
"I was happy with sets three and four though. Our girls really fought hard for those two sets."
Momentum quickly swung over to the Illinois side of the net in the final frame, however. Trailing by five points at 6-11, Indiana stormed back to trim the deficit to two points at 10-12. The run would end there though and the Fighting Illini clinched the match with a 15-11 set victory.
The Hoosiers return to University Gym Saturday night for a 7 p.m. match vs. Northwestern. That match will be streamed live on the BigTenNetwork.com. Dave Leno will handle the play-by-play duties while former Hoosier Erica Short provides color commentary.