IU Battles Northwestern In Tough Loss
Nov. 25, 2005
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Indiana volleyball team hung tough with the Northwestern Wildcats, but fell in the end 3-1 (30-25, 35-35, 23-30, 30-27) to drop to 9-22 (2-17 Big Ten) on the season. The match at the University Gym in Bloomington, Ind., on Nov. 25 featured 34 ties and 10 lead changes.
Individually, senior outside hitter Rachel Gerling paced the Hoosiers with 19 kills, while freshman outside hitter recorded 18 kills along with four service aces. Meanwhile, freshman setter Jessica Batliner led IU with 27 assists, followed closely behind by freshman setter Laura Holm with 25. Additionally, junior libero Sara Diehl notched 20 digs, while sophomore outside hitter Lauren Ditteon registered 10 digs of her own.
Notably, a host of Hoosier performances either advanced or entered several players in the Indiana record books. Senior middle blocker Mandy Eberle's three block assists put her just one behind former IU standout Christina Archibald on the career list, while her four total blocks tied her for ninth with Amanda Walker for 275.
Meanwhile, Gerling's service ace tied her for fifth on the single-season list with Jen Magelssen (1996) and Jill Kerkhoff (1993), while Eberle's single-season block assist tally of 131 now stands one behind third-place Melissa Brewer's total of 132 in 2002. Additionally, Eberle's 146 total blocks now resides six behind Cydryce Carter (1997) and Julie Goedde (1987) for a second-place tie. Finally, sophomore middle blocker Annie Moddrell jumped into eighth on the single-season hitting percentage chart with .289 after eclipsing the 300 total attempt minimum.
As for the contest, the first game opened up in competitive fashion as the squads battled back and forth until 8-8. At that point, Northwestern jumped out to 12-8 and 19-11 leads as the Wildcats looked to salt away a quick win. The Hoosiers had other plans as they closed the gap to 20-18 with a 7-1 run. The Big Ten foes then traded points until NU led 23-21. The Wildcats pushed their lead out to 25-21 before closing out the frame, 30-25 to take a 1-0 lead.
The second stanza proved to be the most competitive with 16 ties and five lead changes. In the early going, Short set the U-Gym crowd on fire with a day after Thanksgiving turkey of three consecutive service aces to take a quick 5-2 lead. The Wildcats, however, chipped away at the IU advantage until taking a 12-11 lead. Northwestern then stretched its advantage to 15-12, before Indiana countered to square the game at 17-17. After another run of point trading, Indiana struck out to a 24-21 advantage. The Hoosiers then held off a hard-charging Northwestern squad to push out to a 29-25 lead. Unfortunately, Indiana could not close out the match as the Wildcats posted a timely 4-0 run to knot the game at 29-29. In the end, NU outlasted the Hoosiers to take a 35-33 win and a 2-0 match lead.
The Hoosiers responded after intermission to win the third frame 30-23. At one point, the Wildcats owned a 7-2 advantage, but Indiana rebounded to knot the game at 10-10. IU then took a 13-10 lead and never look back with a 6-0 run to put the score at 24-16 and secure the win. The victory cut the gap to 2-1 for the match.
In another hotly contested game, the Hoosiers came out on the short end with a 30-27 loss. In sum, the fourth frame boasted 11 ties until the score stood at 24-24. Northwestern concluded its regular season by claiming the 30-27 win for a 3-1 triumph.
Next up, the Hoosiers honor Eberle and Gerling during Senior Night against Wisconsin at the University Gym in Bloomington, Ind., on Nov. 26 at 7 p.m.
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