The spring volleyball season isn’t expected to yield many wins for Steve Aird’s young group of Hoosiers. But two weekends into the modified campaign, IU is glad to have its first victory.
Indiana bounced back from a Friday night loss to win Saturday’s matchup at Rutgers, 3-1 (25-19, 25-15, 9-25, 25-23). Freshman Tommi Stockham led the team with 16 kills, including six on 10 attempts during a crucial fourth set.
Sophomore Haley Armstrong posted her second straight match with 20 digs, while adding two aces and six assists. Seven of those digs came during the final set. In all, the Hoosiers had three players record two aces, including Stockham and Sophie Oliphant. Armstrong’s second ace clinched the fourth set and lifted IU to its victory.
The Hoosiers also received solid production from middle blockers Leyla Blackwell and Savannah Kjolhede, who combined for 15 kills. Kjolhede had nine kills with two errors for a .412 hitting percentage, while Blackwell led IU with six blocks.
“I thought we started on time and played well through the first two sets,” Aird said. “We showed character and resiliency to come back in the fourth set. We had young people make big plays when we needed them. It’s hard to win in this conference and we are fortunate to leave Rutgers with a split. We have to find a way to keep battling and that is a skill. I was proud of our effort.”
In Friday’s match, which Rutgers took 3-1 (18-25, 25-17, 25-19, 25-20), Breana Edwards posted her seventh career outing with at least 20 kills. Stockham posted her first career double-double with 11 kills and 11 digs, and Armstrong notched 22 digs.
IU returns to action next weekend at Iowa.
Women’s game vs. Rutgers rescheduled
There’s a new date on the calendar for IU’s previously-postponed women’s basketball game against Rutgers.
The Big Ten announced Sunday that the Hoosiers will host the Scarlet Knights on Thursday at 8 p.m. Eastern at Assembly Hall. The game was originally scheduled for Jan. 18, but COVID-19 issues inside Rutgers’ program forced the postponement.
Thursday’s matchup will air on Big Ten Network.
Wrestling splits weekend with Northwestern, Penn State
A big day from Donnell Washington highlighted IU’s 18-16 win over No. 24 Northwestern, while the Hoosiers scored their most points in a dual against Penn State in 12 years in a 24-15 loss to the No. 3 Nittany Lions.
Washington’s pin in the final 18 seconds of the third period at 174 helped Indiana to six crucial points in the victory over the Wildcats. A four-point near fall for Jacob Bullock at 285 ultimately helped seal the dual victory over Northwestern.
Meanwhile, Washington was also great against Penn State, beating No. 5 ranked Carter Starocci after securing a takedown and a four-point near fall 40 seconds into the first period. At one point, Washington led 10-1.
“I thought we battled hard,” IU coach Angel Escobedo said. “We were a little outmatched against Penn State, but we found a way to win some matches and make it close. I told our guys it’s about showing up. We carried that momentum on to the Northwestern dual.”
The Hoosiers will host a quad meet with Michigan State, Nebraska and Rutgers on Feb. 6 at Wilkinson Hall.