IUS Volleyball swept by undefeated IU East

Grenadiers attack errors cost them against undefeated Red Wolves, drop to .500 mark

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IU Southeast Department of Athletics

Freshman Outside Hitter Hannah Miller goes for a kill against IU Kokomo. The Bloomington South High School product had seven kills in the Grenadiers’ loss against the Red Wolves.

Brandon Miniard, Sports Editor

The IU Southeast volleyball team had extra time to rest the week following a tough weekend road trip to Rio Grande (October 9, Lost 23-25,25-22,25-15,25-20) and West Virginia Tech (October 10, Won 25-20,25-23,22-25,21-25,15-10). Matches against Brescia and Ohio Christian were canceled, allowing the Grenadiers to focus primarily on River States Conference rival IU East, whom they hosted on Saturday, October 17. Unfortunately for the Grenadiers (3-2, 3-2 RSC), the Red Wolves (9-0, 8-0 RSC) showed why they were the top team in the RSC East with a three-game sweep at the Activities Building.

“Some of the things we wanted to do in this match, we did,” Brian said. “We played with better energy than we have in other matches. I think we served effectively and got [IU East] out of their system.”

The first set saw the Grenadiers and Red Wolves exchange battle back-and-forth early on, only for the latter to capitalize on Grenadier attack errors to fuel an 8-1 run. The Grenadiers attempted a surge of their own, taking advantage of three consecutive Red Wolves miscues to drop the deficit to 19-16. The Red Wolves scored seven of the last nine points to capture the first set 25-18.

The Red Wolves jumped ahead early in the second set courtesy of a 13-7 run, again capitalizing on Grenadier miscues. The Grenadiers used kills by Alexis Bassett, Delaney Nichols, and Hannah Miller, as well as a Red Wolves’ service error, to close the gap once more, this time at 17-15. Again, the Red Wolves powered through with an 8-5 surge to take the second period 25-20.

The Grenadiers showed some resolve in the third set, scoring half of their 14 points on kills, as well as a service ace from Bassett, to take a 14-10 lead. The Red Wolves didn’t stay down for long, roaring back with a 13-4 surge. Utilizing a .382 hitting percentage in the period, as well as 18 kills, the Red Wolves took the final set 25-21 to complete the sweep.

“Attack errors,” Brian noted as the team’s main problem during the match. “We just had too many unforced attack errors that made the difference in the outcome of each set.”

The Grenadiers committed just as many errors as they did kills with 29, resulting in a .082 hitting percentage. The Red Wolves were more accurate with a .221 hitting percentage, as well as 43 kills, led by Jessica Swimm’s 11 and Lexi Gentry’s 10. Bassett led the Grenadiers with 10 kills, followed by Miller’s seven, Nichols’ six, and Jennie Malone’s five. Hannah Sipe notched 28 assists while Kenna Burman led with 11 digs.

“I had good sets from [Sipe], which I believed helped me in the match,” Malone said of her performance. “We work a lot in practice on the connection between setter and middle blocker, and it’s starting to pay off.”

The loss drops the Grenadiers to 4-4 (4-4 RSC) on the year, their worst start since the 2017 season when the Grenadiers lost their first 11 straight.

The Grenadiers return to action on Tuesday, October 20, when they welcome RSC powerhouse IU Kokomo to the Activities Building. The match is scheduled to start at 7 p.m.

Injury Report

Not only did the Grenadiers have to contend with an undefeated Red Wolves squad, but they had to do so without emerging freshman Emilee Organ. The outside hitter from North Knox High School sustained an undisclosed injury sometime during the week between facing West Virginia Tech and IU East.

Organ was off to a hot start in her first collegiate campaign, leading the Grenadiers with 72 total kills and 3.13 kills per set through their first seven matches prior to the injury.

Despite the injury, Organ was present on the bench, cheering on her teammates during the match. Sports Information and Media Director Stephen Utz confirmed that the injury was not season-ending.