IUS volleyball digs deep, beats KSU 3-2

IUS Horizon

Ashley Rumph serves in the third game of IU Southeast’s win over Kentucky State. Rumph finished the match with 26 digs.
Ashley Rumph serves in the third game of IU Southeast’s win over Kentucky State. Rumph finished the match with 26 digs.

Despite losing the first two games, the IU Southeast volleyball team came back to win their  match against Kentucky State on Sept. 3, 21-25, 22-25, 25-14, 25-23, 15-12. 

The Grenadiers struggled at the net early in the first game, with KSU scoring five straight points to take a 9-4 lead. IU Southeast rallied to within one at 14-13, but it wasn’t enough as they dropped the first game, 21-25. 

“We just struggle with consistency,” IUS head coach Carrie Lilly said. “Sometimes the girls put pressure on themselves, even more than I do.”

The second game was more of the same, with the Thorobreds grabbing an early 5-1 lead. IU Southeast again mounted a comeback, drawing to within one at 22-21 before falling 22-25. Despite their two match losing streak, senior setter Katie Tinsley said the team was not discouraged.  

“Even though we were down early, we had it in our heads we weren’t losing,” Tinsley said. Tinsley finished with 13 digs and no errors. 

In the third game, Kentucky State’s errant serves (13 in the match) finally caught up with them as IU Southeast raced to an 18-8 lead, closing out the game at 25-14.

The Grenadiers’ play at the net improved in the third, with junior right-side hitter Lindsey Williams leading the charge. Williams had seven kills in the match.

“She (Lindsey Williams) is a go to person,” Lilly said. “The girls look for her to lead.”

Neither team could gain control in the fourth game, which featured six lead changes. IU Southeast tied the score at 19-19 on a delayed line call. The match was marred by several controversial decisions by the officials, but Lilly said such disputes are part of the game. 

“There’s some refs you have chemistry with and some you don’t,” Lilly said.

The Grenadiers finished out the fourth game 25-23 on a spike by junior middle hitter Vanessa Stauble. Stauble led IU Southeast with 14 of the team’s 46 kills.

“It feels rewarding to win long rallies,” Stauble said. “The long plays, they wear you out.”

The fifth game started with another prolonged exchange and IU Southeast jumped out to a 4-1 lead. KSU took the lead at 10-9, but the Grenadiers capitalized on several KSU mistakes to take the final game 15-12 and win the match 3-2. 

“I think there were a lot of competitive plays,” Tinsley said. “A lot of our hitters stepped up.”

Lilly said the win was good for the confidence of the team, especially heading into weekend matches on the road against Mount Vernon Nazarene and Concordia University.

“I told them to be happy with the win,” Lilly said. “When they’re up and having fun, that’s when they play their best.”

The next IU Southeast home volleyball match is on Sept. 18 against the University of the Cumberlands.

Staff Writer