In the weeks leading into the spring volleyball season, Indiana coach Steve Aird made his intentions clear. Aird vowed to use the non-traditional campaign to get his newcomers — of which IU has many — valuable match experience, and in this weekend’s opening series against No. 5 Nebraska, the third-year coach followed through.
Predictably, the Hoosiers did not win a single set against the Huskers at Wilkinson Hall across Friday and Saturday nights, but they did get to see what their heralded class of freshmen is all about. In Friday’s opener, IU started four freshmen — outside hitters Tommi Stockham and Morgan Geddes, and middle blockers Savannah Kjolhede and Leyla Blackwell — and saw those first-year athletes begin to make an impact. It was only the initial phase at the beginning of the developmental process, but all things considered, it was an encouraging first step.
Geddes recorded IU’s first point of the season on a kill, Stockham notched a kill in the middle of a 4-0, first-set run that got IU within two and forced a Nebraska timeout, and Blackwell recorded a block late in the first set to bring IU within three points. In all, four of the five Hoosiers to record kills on Friday were freshmen.
“On the whole, super proud of the kids,” Aird said. “We started four freshmen and two sophomores and I thought they competed. They were in it for large stretches of time. I thought we got great performances from Tommi Stockham and Morgan Geddes. If we passed a little better, we could’ve gotten the ball to the two freshmen middles a little bit more.”
Saturday’s bright spot was the bounce-back performance of outside hitter Breana Edwards. The junior had a quiet opening night, but answered with 12 kills and three digs on Saturday.
“What we’re trying to do is establish character,” Aird said. “Breana Edwards had a terrible match (Friday) night and she was great (on Saturday). It’s about resiliency, and it’s such a good conference, there’s nowhere to hide.”
Women’s basketball schedule changes
By now, Teri Moren’s Hoosiers are used to changing plans on short notice. This week, they’ll do it again.
IU announced after Sunday’s win at Northwestern that the Hoosiers will now host Ohio State on Thursday in a game that was previously scheduled for Feb. 4. That matchup will tip at 8 p.m. Eastern and air on Big Ten Network.
Indiana also received a tip time for Sunday’s home game against Michigan State. That contest will begin at 4 p.m. Eastern and air on Big Ten Network Plus.
Men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams sweep Ohio State
The No. 7 IU men handled No. 17 Ohio State in the pool, 185-115, while the No. 12 IU women did the same against their 14th-ranked opponents from Columbus, 166-134.
On the women’s side, freshman Anne Fowler tallied a career-best, NCAA ‘A’ Standard score of 356.18 in the 1-meter diving event. Her winning score is the fifth-highest score ever posted in a six-dive set by a Hoosier woman diver, and she also bested the 1-meter dual meet school record previously held by Olympian Jessica Parratto.
On the men’s side, Brendan Burns won the 100 Fly, 200 Fly and 200 Back, and also contributed to IU’s victory in the 400 Medley Relay. Andrew Capobianco notched two more wins and is now 4-for-4 in diving events this season after posting NCAA ‘A’ Standard scores of 417.00 in the 1-meter and 473.55 in the 3-meter.