Indiana volleyball went 1-1 over the weekend at home with a loss to in-state rival No. 9 Purdue and a win against Michigan State. Senior defensive specialist Paula Cerame had a total of 48 digs over the two matches on the weekend.
The Hoosiers lost to the Boilermakers in a close 3-2 match on Friday. In front of 2,512 fans, the Hoosiers played one of the best matches in recent history of the series.
So far this season, Purdue hit .264. On Friday night however, the team was held to .192 on Friday. Purdue freshman outside hitter Eva Hudson, who led the Big Ten in kills and points, only hit .179 with eight errors.
Indiana won the first set 26-24. The team got off to a 4-1 lead with a run from sophomore middle blocker Kenzie Daffinee. Then getting to a 24-23 Purdue lead, Indiana started a 3-point rally to secure the first set. Purdue bounced back in the second set and won 25-22 to even the match.
The Hoosiers won the third set 25-15 in one the most competitive and dominant sets the team has played all season. Daffinee once again got the team ahead to a 4-0 start. The Hoosiers went on a 5-0 run to take control of the set with a 12-5 lead, before junior middle blocker Savannah Kjolhede enacted back-to-back kills to open the gap to a 21-13.
Indiana took an early 8-7 lead with a ball struck past the back row by sophomore outside hitter Mady Saris. Purdue quickly responded with a 10-0 run to command the fourth set. Purdue would win that set 25-15.
In the fifth and final set, the Hoosiers used a Boilermakers attacking error to grab a 4-3 lead. The Hoosiers closed the gap to 8-9 in the fifth off of a kill from freshman outside hitter Candela Alonso-Corcelles. However, Purdue would finish off the set and win it 15-10.
Cerame had 25 digs for the Hoosiers against the Boilermakers which is her season high. Daffinee served a season's best 27 times and Kjolhede hit .545 on the night.
“I thought it was a great match,” Indiana head coach Steve Aird said. “Awesome environment at home and I thought the crowd was great. I was proud of the kids’ effort. I thought they played hard, did a lot of great things but came up short in the fifth.”
Indiana bounced back on Sunday afternoon with a back-and-forth, 3-2 win against Michigan State.
The Hoosiers lost to the Spartans in the first set 25-21. The Hoosiers took a 5-1 lead with a pair of kills from Saris and Kjolhede. Michigan State battled back to tie the set at 13 and then went on a 9-4 run and secured the set 25-21.
In the second set, Indiana took an early lead 5-3 before Michigan State went on a 10-5 run to force Indiana to take a timeout. Junior outside hitter Grae Gosnell notched a pair of kills to close out the set 25-23.
The third set saw Saris go on a run of three straight kills to put Indiana up 10-7. The Hoosiers continued their rally by taking an 18-11 lead before the Spartans retaliated and tied the game at 22. The Hoosiers finished off the set with a 27-25 win.
The fourth set was the closest of the match. In a back-and-forth battle, Indiana took the lead 20-18 after a kill from redshirt junior outside hitter Ashley Zulauf. Sophomore setter Camryn Haworth tied the set at 23, but Michigan State was able to prevail and force it into a fifth with a 25-23 win.
The final set was a dominant effort from the Hoosiers. Cerame started an incredible run that gave a commanding 5-0 lead. Michigan State would battle back and cut it to a 12-9 deficit. However, the Hoosiers would capitalize on the Spartans’ errors and win the set 15-10.
Cerame had 23 digs, Saris had 21 kills and Haworth had 46 assists on the day.
“I was really impressed with Michigan State,” Aird said. “For us, it’s just learning about how to win. It’s managing the emotion of coming off of a massive match in a packed stadium to a Sunday matinee at 1 p.m. where it’s got to be more of your own energy.”
Now 10-10 and 3-5 in the Big Ten this season, Indiana will tour the Mitten State with a match against Michigan on Friday and Michigan State on Sunday.
Prior to IU’s win over Michigan State, IU celebrated Cerame’s 1,000th dig, which she notched on Oct. 8 at Iowa.
Right after honoring Cerame, the program honored Indiana volleyball alumnus Ashley Benson with her induction into the IU Athletics Hall of Fame. Benson is the program’s only All-American and notched that honor in 2010.
During her career, Benson racked up 1,492 kills across 132 matches while also supplying 568 block assists and 61 solo blocks. Across 3,175 total attempts, Benson hit a resounding .339 for the Hoosiers in four seasons. She still ranks first in program history in hitting percentage and block assists.
Perhaps her most notable feat is leading the 2010 team to a 23-12 season. This secured the Hoosiers a postseason bid. Indiana defeated the University of Miami 3-2 in the first round and University of Tennessee 3-1 in the second to advance to the program’s first Sweet 16. Since getting swept by the University of Southern California in that match, Indiana has not made it that far.