Despite rally IUS volleyball falls 3-1

IUS Horizon

The support of Geffrey the Gnome was not enough as the IUS volleyball team fell to Indiana Wesleyan at home, 25-15, 25-10, 18-25, 25-12.

Indiana Wesleyan’s athletic front line dominated play the first two games and seemed poised to finish the Grenadiers early in the third, jumping ahead 9-6.

IU Southeast rallied, however, making several tough digs in a heated volley to extend to an 18-15 lead.

“We could’ve easily given up and given them that third game,” IUS head coach Carrie Lilly said. “I thought we were going to pull the back end of that one out.”

Indiana Wesleyan raced ahead 17-10 in the fourth game behind the precision serves of junior setter Krystin Coleman to finish out the match and earn their first win of the season. Despite the loss, Lilly was optimistic about the team’s future.

Junior Lindsey Williams holds up Geffrey the Gnome while talking with assistant volleyball coach Angie Buckingham before a home match against Indiana Wesleyan.
Junior Lindsey Williams holds up Geffrey the Gnome while talking with assistant volleyball coach Angie Buckingham before a home match against Indiana Wesleyan.

“I don’t want tonight to be the perception of this team,” Lilly said. “I really think this is the year we turn the corner.”

Freshman libero Lindsey Rumph led the Grenadiers with 13 digs, but IU Southeast had 24 errors compared to only 15 for the Wildcats. Indiana Wesleyan also had 51 kills, nearly doubling the IU Southeast total of 30.

Lilly said she could see the IU Southeast players were tired after a weekend tournament and the start of the fall semester. Junior Middle Hitter Vanessa Stauble echoed those sentiments.

“We were gone the whole weekend before classes started,” Stauble said. “I think it’s definitely tough on the freshmen.”

Lilly said her early focus is on keeping up the confidence of the younger players, but team chemistry is better than it has been in past seasons.

“This is the best we’ve gotten along since I’ve been here,” Lilly said.

Evidence of team unity was on the sideline in the form of Geffrey the Gnome, the unofficial mascot of the Grenadier volleyball team.

“It was Gary last year, now it’s Geffrey,” Stauble said.

Gary was replaced after an errant ball broke his legs during a match last season.

“We had to put him (Gary) down,” assistant coach Angie Buckingham said.

Lilly was also encouraged by the number of fans who showed up for the match.

“This is the most fans I’ve seen in the stands,” Lilly said. “I think it freaked some of them (the players) out.”

Lilly said she thought the attendance may have been due in part to the new dorms and may continue to have an impact in the future.

By MATTHEW LEE MILLER
Staff Writer
mlm5@ius.edu