Oct. 31, 2009
Final Stats |
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -
The Indiana University volleyball team came up on the wrong end of a five-setter for the second consecutive night on Saturday, dropping the match to Northwestern. A total of 46 points were needed to decide the final set (25-23, 18-25, 17-25, 25-17, 22-24).
Junior middle blocker Ashley Benson posted excellent numbers on the night. The Bloomington, Ind., native racked up 15 kills, a .400 hitting efficiency and four blocks. Kelsey Hall, Jordan Haverly and Kelci Marschall also tallied double-digit kills. Marschall gathered her 10 put-aways in just four sets while hitting .429 (10-1-21).
In the defensive backcourt Caitlin Cox was IU's top performer, digging 21 balls. Meanwhile, Haverly added 13 digs to her 13 kills for the ninth double-double of her young Hoosier career. Mary Chaudoin, Benson and Taylor Wittmer each gathered four block assists, and Wittmer added a solo block.
Cox made her presence known in the back row immediately, picking up seven Wildcat attacks in the opening set, and assisting the Hoosiers in limiting Northwestern to a .143 hitting percentage. Much improved blocking was also key in the defensive dominance as the Hoosiers stuffed four blocks. Hall hammered home points number 23 and 24 moments before a kill by Wittmer ended the set, 25-23, in favor of the Cream and Crimson.
Wittmer continued to shine in the second set, heading into the locker room hitting .636 by connecting on seven of 11 attacks. Despite her hot-hand, Northwestern was still able to even things up at one-set-apiece. The momentum remained on the Wildcat side in set number three. Northwestern hit .581 as a team en route to the 25-17 winner.
Undaunted, the Hoosiers stormed out of the gates for the fourth set, taking an 18-11 lead and forcing a Wildcat timeout. Indiana would go on to complete a 25-17 victory of their own, thanks in large part to a stellar defensive effort. Cox's seven digs paced Indiana's 22 for the set.
Then came the wild final set, the longest fifth set Indiana has played since the inception of rally scoring in 2001. Northwestern grabbed an early 5-3 lead before the Hoosiers ripped off three straight points and NU Head Coach Keylor Chan called a timeout. A sonic blast off the right arm of Benson earned the sideout, and then she threw a pair of darts from the service line that led to Indiana's next two points and a 6-5 edge. The pendulum would continue to swing, however, as Northwestern was ahead, 8-7, as the squads switched ends of the court.
Marschall began ripping balls shortly thereafter, garnering the ninth and 10th points for her Hoosiers. Another missile via a Benson slide attack later evened the score at 12-12. That is when things got really interesting. First, the Hoosiers fended off a pair of match points when trailing 12-14. Indiana would do it again at 14-15 before jumping ahead at 16-15. From there, Northwestern evaded defeat seven consecutive times as the two teams exchanged points one at a time up until the 22-22 mark. Then, a controversial call at the net followed to put the Wildcats up 23-22. The Northwestern tandem of Kathryn Chrystal and Naomi Johnson sealed the deal on the very next point, blocking an IU attack.
The Monon Spike is on the line Wednesday (Nov. 4) night as Indiana takes on in-state rival Purdue at 7 p.m. inside University Gym. That match will be broadcast LIVE on the Big Ten Network.