Indiana Topped By No. 25 Illinois
Nov. 15, 2013
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – The Indiana volleyball team fell in three closely combatted sets to No. 25 Illinois this evening, falling 28-26, 25-18, and 25-22. In total, the match featured 38 tied scores and 18 lead changes, with neither team ever leading by more than five points.
The setback drops the Hoosiers to 9-17 overall and 1-14 on the year, while Illinois improves to 13-12 and 9-6 on the season.
Awele Nwaeze led Indiana with her 11 kills on the night, hitting .280 on 25 swings. She added a pair of digs and two block assists. Jordan Haverly tallied nine kills against the Illini and posted five digs, while Morgan Leach and Amelia Anderson contributed with seven kills apiece. Katie Gallagher and Megan Tallman split time at setter and handed out 16 and 15 assists, respectively. On the defensive end, Caitlin Hansen averaged 7.0 digs per set on a 21-dig performance, while Taylor Lebo had 11 in the match.
It was a battle for both squads in the opening game this evening as the two teams sat deadlocked on 21 different occasions. Neither squad led by more than two points and exchanged the lead 12 times in the opening set. Nwaeze and Leach highlighted the Hoosiers’ attack, each hitting .400 and .667, respectively. Nwaeze tallied six kills in the frame while Leach terminated four on six swings. Hansen posted eight digs for Indiana, while Gallagher dished out eight assists.
Illinois opened set two with an 8-4 lead, prompting a quick Indiana timeout. After the break, the Hoosiers eventually fought back to within one following an Illinois attacking error set the score to 16-15. The Fighting Illini pushed forward on a 9-3 run to take the second frame, 25-18. Haverly led the Hoosiers with four kills on 10 attempts. Tallman added five assists and Hansen recorded six digs.
After opening set three with a two-point deficit, Indiana tied it up behind a block assist shared by Haverly and Chante George and a kill from Haverly locked it at 2-2. With the score knotted up at 6-6, Indiana took its first lead of the set on a kill from George that found some floor between a pair of diving Illini players. Much like the momentum seen in the first set, the Hoosiers and Illini went on to exchanged leads and matched scores until the game drifted to 19-all. A diving dig by Taylor Lebo kept play alive to eventually set up a kill from Haverly to give IU a 20-19 lead; however, the Illini bounced back and went on to take set three, 25-22.
The Hoosiers will close out the weekend on Sunday, Nov. 17 at Northwestern. Opening serve is slated for 1 p.m. ET.
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