Last March, seconds after the Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament semifinal, the sound that signaled Indiana’s robbery over top-seeded Ohio State didn’t come from a final buzzer beater, but screaming Hoosier fans. The walls of Gainbridge Fieldhouse pulsed in harmonic hymns of “Teri! Teri! Teri!”
Use the fields below to perform an advanced search of The Hoosier Network's archives. This will return articles, images, and multimedia relevant to your query.
31 items found for your search. If no results were found please broaden your search.
Chloe Moore-McNeil earned her first career double-double on Feb. 6 in a 64-57 win over Purdue. She just didn’t know it yet.Rather, as the final buzzer beeped in Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall and the team rushed to embrace one another, Moore-McNeil felt the shadow of IU forward Kiandra Browne dawn upon her, running up from behind.“You just got a double-double!” Browne said. Moore-McNeil’s eyes widened; she stepped away from the team’s celebration to respond, “Wait...what?” Everyone seemed to have known but her, as seconds later you’d see Moore-McNeil being escorted into the media room for her very first postgame interview. “Then I had to go to the media…” Moore-McNeil said. “I was like, ‘Oh man, I don’t know about this.’” In light of Moore-McNeil’s basketball maturation this season, talking to the media may just be something she’s going to have to get used to. Through all of Indiana’s ups and downs – postponed games due to COVID-19, forward Mackenzie Holmes knee injury – Moore-McNeil has maximized her opportunities and developed into a player who can help IU in the NCAA Tournament and projects to be a key asset for years to come. Not only did the fifth highest attendance in the history of IU women’s basketball come on National Women in Sports Day, but it was the second contest the Hoosiers won over in-state rival Purdue this season– one where Moore-McNeil posted 11 points and 10 rebounds. In the final few minutes of the first half, Moore-McNeil clutched an offensive rebound from a missed charity shot. She swiftly moved the ball and cut to the corner. Senior guard Grace Berger had the ball with less than three minutes to go. Scanning from wing to wing, she found Moore-McNeil beyond the arc for an open triple. The shot fell – surging Indiana’s momentum from there. This put the Hoosiers up by 10 with 2:13 remaining – the largest lead of the game up until that point, thanks to Moore-McNeil. Senior guard Nicole Cardaño-Hillary led Indiana with 19 points, but when asked about Moore-McNeil’s play during postgame, she couldn’t help but chuckle – looking to her left at Moore-McNeil in pride. “How much time you got? I could go forever,” Cardaño-Hillary said. “...Chloe not only gives us energy on defense, but on offense – she's knocking down every shot.” Coincidentally, Moore-McNeil’s best game earlier in the season was the first Purdue matchup where she got her first career start and played for 43 minutes. Considering how she played an average of only 7.3 minutes last season, playing 40 plus minutes in the early games of her second year was quite the jump.“I knew I had to play a bigger role,” Moore-McNeil said. “...it just hadn’t hit me yet.”She may not have realized it at the time, but those 43 minutes up in West Lafayette were pivotal – spawning the Moore-McNeil we see today. It was the hardest game of her career to date, she said, especially with the absence of Cardaño-Hillary and Holmes, but it immensely aided in her growth throughout the remainder of this season. Now averaging 20 plus minutes per game, she doesn’t necessarily feel pressure, but rather a duty to hold herself accountable as Indiana’s next man up. “Not going to lie, if we had lost (the first Purdue game) I would’ve been like: ‘Wow, this is kind of my fault you know, first game starting,’” Moore-McNeil said. “Fortunately, that didn’t happen.” In every game leading up to the first Purdue meeting, we saw Moore-McNeil taking shots – from the top of the key, to the point, to the low post. Her range and willingness to shoot were never in question. But at the same time, almost none were falling. The first Purdue game, where she grabbed 10 points and six rebounds, reassured her that she can produce off the bench, she can shoot.Being discouraged takes less effort than trying to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and head coach Teri Moren has said multiple times that she will never let her women fall into that dark hole. With Moore-McNeil’s teammates and coaches constantly in her ear – telling her, “those shots will fall, we need those shots, keep taking those shots,” Moore-McNeil recalled – it didn’t take long for a poised shooter to resurface. “Several times in practice when I’ve hesitated to shoot the ball or I miss, I’m just like, ‘I don’t even know if I should shoot that again,’” Moore-McNeil said. Moren’s response to that? “Be confident in your shot and just stick it, you have to have that faith in yourself that it will go in.”And on the week of the Big Ten Tournament, that faith came to fruition. On March 6, Indiana played in the Big Ten Championship for the first time in 20 years, knocking off top-seeded Ohio State to get there. But, if Moore-McNeil didn’t step up the way she did that afternoon – defensively and offensively – who knows if Indiana would’ve beaten Ohio State. A Moore-McNeil jumper was the first bucket of the semifinal game against the Buckeyes, and she really didn’t quit after that – ultimately paramounting Indiana’s momentum for the entire first half and playing all but two minutes of the game. She ended with 11 points going into the second half, three rebounds, and forced four turnovers. All her efforts – from early mornings to late nights in the Hall before, and after practice, were apparent that day.
INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana was peaking all the way up from Thursday to Saturday in three hot-blooded matchups. But Sunday afternoon, that peak came up short. For the third time in 16 days, the Hawkeyes got the best of the Hoosiers, dancing around in confetti while they celebrated a 74-67 win to name them the 2022 Big Ten women’s basketball champions — the closest conference championship game since 2015. While Indiana’s field-goal percentage was 38 to the Hawkeyes’ 50, the Hoosiers didn’t necessarily play substandard. They shot 21 percent from beyond the arc to Iowa’s 14, outrebounded the Hawkeyes by two, and had double the amount of second-chance shots than Iowa did. Heartbreak in Indianapolis. Indiana loses a nail-bitter to Iowa in the B1G Championship game, but the team still has work to be done. @carlobarone12 breaks down Indiana's tough loss.#iuwbb pic.twitter.com/qdoGvqzu7z — The Hoosier Network (@TheHoosierNet) March 7, 2022 https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Indiana may have been able to win this game against a different opponent, but against a team with such an astute big like Monica Czinano and Big Ten Player of the Year Caitlin Clark who came in fresh off a record-setting 41 point game against Nebraska on Saturday, small errors really couldn’t be afforded on a game like Sunday’s. “Whether it was a little bit of fatigue, tired legs…I'm not sure,” head coach Teri Moren said. “I think we got some really good looks, they just didn't go down for us.” Here are three reasons why the title of Big Ten champion slipped through Indiana’s fingers: 1. There was no game plan for Monica Czinano As Caitlin Clark reigns as the best player in the entire conference, she’s really not the reason why Iowa won Sunday. In fact, she went 6-for-17 on field goals and scored 18 points, which is way below her season average of 27.7. The Hawkeye that capitalized the most off her teammates' ability to find her so swiftly down low was forward Monica Czinano. Czinano was the best player on the hardwood Sunday and just couldn’t be stopped. She dominated every IU guard and forward in the paint, walking away with 30 points and 10 rebounds. “She's (Czinano) a big part of why they'll be successful,” Moren said. “When you have Caitlin Clark and a post player like that, that's a special combination.” Half of the time, Czinano never even dribbles the ball; she shoots so fast and maximizes the physicality of every part of her body. If a team is late in doubling Czinano, which Indiana was a few times during this contest, Czinano will always get her way because she is so brisk on the inside with her footing placed, usually, right where it needs to be for that perfect look. In previous seasons, before her knee surgery, junior forward Mackenzie Holmes was able to do a pretty good job on Czinano in regard to keeping her farther away from the rim, and she did block a few of her shots Sunday, but regardless, Holmes still isn’t 100 percent. “Mack is still not moving as well,” Moren said. “Not as strong from below in terms of her leg strength.” Czinano was a tough wrinkle in the way for Indiana in their first two meetings, and on Sunday, she continued to prove why she is a one-of-a-kind big. 2. The momentum of the game was in constant shift Unlike Indiana’s previous tournament matchups earlier this week, Sunday’s game wasn’t dominated by the Hoosiers seconds after tipoff. Even in Indiana and Iowa’s two, 48-hour back-to-back matchups in February, either the Hoosiers or Hawkeyes kept a certain momentum over one another for periods of the game. Neither team really took control of the game’s momentum from the start, with a lot of back-and -forth runs down the stretch and many one- or two-point temporary lead changes for both teams. Iowa took a short-lived seven-point lead late in the first half, and another late in the fourth quarter, winning it all by seven in the end. Something I’ve noticed about the Hoosiers throughout the duration of this tournament is that they need to keep the momentum on their side at all times because ultimately, that is what will secure a win for the players on this specific Indiana team. It could be as simple as one missed free throw, one triple that’s a bit short, or even a poor foul call to throw the Hoosiers off as the Hawkeyes capitalized off their lethargy. This is an Indiana team that is emotional and passionate, and when they sense they’re falling off — in moments — that confidence kind of falls off with them. Overall, it was a hard-fought game. The Hoosiers got many stops in transition to keep the score so close for the entirety of the game, while leading for the majority of the first half. 3. Indiana’s fire extinguished right when IU needed it the most Guard Grace Berger entered into the final quarter with four fouls on her back, and in the final minutes, she ultimately fouled out. Both guard Nicole Cardaño-Hillary and forward Aleksa Gulbe missed triples near the end, fogging up what was — at times — a clear pathway to victory. The Hoosiers were able to turn this contest into a one-possession game up until the last five minutes of the fourth, approximately when the Hawkeyes took back control and went 8-for-12 to end the contest. Iowa guard Kate Martin was tremendously aggressive on offense towards the end, which also disrupted the momentum the Hoosiers had accumulated early in the quarter from a 3-point play from Holmes, a Cardaño-Hillary triple, and clutch rebounds from Holmes and Berger. ‘It’s not the end for us’: Positives from the tournament Berger had a classic offensive Berger night, leading Indiana with 20 points and tying a team high of seven rebounds. She is the reason why Indiana was above water for the majority of the first half — hitting almost every shot that the Hoosiers needed. All of Hoosier Nation knows that Cardaño-Hillary is not someone to mess with, putting away 19 points, seven rebounds and three assists. However, the most notable act of her performance Sunday was how well she guarded Clark. “This one right here [pointing to Cardaño-Hillary] did a tremendous job on Caitlin Clark today,” Moren said. “She held her at bay. I think she made her uncomfortable for most of the 40 minutes.” "I don't think I ever go out there not trying to do my best." Nicole Cardaño-Hillary describes how she left everything she had on the court this weekend.#iuwbb pic.twitter.com/2s2KPgGfkM — The Hoosier Network (@TheHoosierNet) March 7, 2022 https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js This is Holmes’ third game in a row in double figures, posting up 11 points and seven rebounds. Gulbe almost had the exact same night as Holmes, with 11 points and six rebounds. As a team, Indiana set an abundance of Big Ten Tournament records over the course of four days. Berger, being the most significant contributor, set a new record for most points in a tournament (63), made field goals (25) and rebounds (30). Patberg may have not had her best game Sunday, but she did tie a program-record eight 3-pointers while Cardaño-Hillary set a new steal record. Obviously, this was not the desired outcome for the Hoosiers. But what they were able to accomplish in four days says a lot more about who they are as a team rather than one nailbiter loss to Iowa. “It was a great four days for us, we reminded them of that,” Moren said. “And then the biggest thing is we have more basketball. There's 300 teams plus, maybe 300 plus teams, that today could have been it for them. It's not the end for us.” Moren’s 24-hour rule will apply to this game just as it has to the other seven that they’ve lost this season. They plan on shutting the Big Ten Tournament door, and opening the NCAA one. March isn’t over yet. "Obviously they are disappointed, but we're never gonna be discouraged."@TeriMoren acknowledges the wave of emotions from this weekend, but understands that there are bigger things ahead.#iuwbb pic.twitter.com/42xRbHkLlo — The Hoosier Network (@TheHoosierNet) March 7, 2022 https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js
Indiana knocks off No. 1 seeded Ohio State in Big Ten semifinals, heads to championship for the first time in 20 years
INDIANAPOLIS – Eight years ago, head coach Teri Moren had a novel vision for the Indiana women’s basketball program. On Saturday, that vision came to fruition. For the first time in 20 years, the Hoosiers are championship bound. “Our goal when we set out here on Wednesday night was to be here until Sunday,” Moren said. “...If I have to put my money on a team, it's going to be these guys.” Sitting on the doorstep of a Big Ten Tournament title, No. 5 seed Indiana capitalized immensely off rebounds, assists and field goal shooting to pull out a 70-62 victory over top-seeded Ohio State. With no lead change the entire game, the flame from a fiery Hoosier start never extinguished. “We came in so prepared, even with the one-day turnaround,” guard Ali Patberg said. “We were confident with the game plan, all we had to do was execute it.” Indiana’s starting lineup looked a little bit different Saturday, with sophomore guard Chloe Moore-McNeil taking the place of senior forward Aleksa Gulbe due to an unrelated COVID-19 illness. Gulbe’s health condition was unknown until Saturday morning, but playing small ball until Gulbe checked in during the middle of the second didn’t seem to be an issue for Indiana at all. The first basket of the game was kissed off the glass by Moore-McNeil and she really didn’t quit after that, tallying 11 points in the first half and playing 38 out of the 40 minutes. “She (Moore-McNeil) was terrific…she was terrific,” Moren said. “I just love how she came out. It was like her hair was on fire.” For the first time in 20 years, Indiana will play for a B1G Championship. However, it would be the contributions from Chloe Moore-McNeil that would lift the Hoosiers over Ohio State. The latest on #iuwbb from @carlobarone12. pic.twitter.com/UZE8iwrRaC — The Hoosier Network (@TheHoosierNet) March 6, 2022 https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js The silver lining of junior forward Mackenzie Holmes being out due to injury for over a month was that it gave a sixth man such as Moore-McNeil so many opportunities to play small and out of position in significant conference matchups. Now, Moore-McNeil looks as confident as ever, and even more so, comfortable with those fast and aggressive downhill drives to the basket. Not to mention the obvious range she has. The interesting thing about this Indiana team is that anybody can have a 20-point night. At times during this season, the Hoosiers have struggled staying consistent on both offense and defense. However, Saturday’s game proved that we really don’t see everything that goes on behind the scenes in regards to the team's chemistry on both ends of the floor. Saturday’s conquest was a true team win, with everybody sharing the sugar between 24 field goals, 20 assists, 50 percent 3-point shooting, and most importantly, 37 rebounds to OSU’s 30. “I want to pass the ball to Ali and drain that 3 every time,” guard Nicole Cardaño-Hillary said. “That kind of willingness to pass and to get the best shot rather than a good shot is really what makes our team so strong.” When Patberg is hot, she knows it. Sticking her tongue out after a triple, her face beaming from smiling so big, then nonchalantly running back down the stretch — defensively, she was very reliable and played a vital role in setting up aggressive plays that would maximize her teammates opportunities for a shot. Patberg was the second leading scorer Saturday afternoon with 15 points. Guard Grace Berger exploited her ability to be the backcourt facilitator, adding 10 points, six rebounds and seven assists. Sticking with the outstanding guard play, Cardaño-Hillary recorded her first double-double of the season, leading Indiana with 16 points and 11 rebounds, defending like a bear trying to give out a hug. “That's a compliment,” Cardaño-Hillary said in response to opponents calling her a “gnat” who is “annoying” on defense. Indiana’s trust in Holmes builds more game after game, but more importantly, she is beginning to trust herself again. Holmes recorded her second straight game in double digits with 12 points, and her teammates were able to comfortably find her in the post to let her do her thing. With Holmes being out for so long, it was a tough reboot — trying to work her back into the mix — but the Hoosiers have found many different ways to win games this year, with or without Holmes. Saturday’s contest can attest to Indiana’s ability in not letting adversity break them and their ability to survive this long in tournament play, especially as they came in fresh off a three-game losing skid. “They're tough, right?” Moren said. “They're tough, they're resilient, they're together, they're connected, their chemistry is off the charts, they hang their hat on the defensive end, they're disciplined, I could go on and on.” As tears welled up in her eyes during postgame, Moren said she was humbled by how committed these women she has the privilege of coaching are, and how special it is to watch and take part in history unraveling right before their very eyes. “When people talk about Indiana basketball, we don't want to be exclusive just to men's basketball,” Moren said. “We want people talking about the women's basketball program as well, and that's been the goal.” The showing and amount of love from Hoosier nation Saturday afternoon had to have aided again in such an epoch-making win. When Gulbe checked in for the first time, Indiana fans got on their feet and roared so loud you could hear it all the way from Bloomington. Men, women and children in candy stripes reached for the stars when Holmes and Berger threw their hands up at them, hinting at them to get loud. The team knew that a special kind of energy was needed, and Hoosier nation responded. "And you know what, I'm not gonna apologize for that."@TeriMoren praises Hoosier Nation for their everyday support of #iuwbb during their B1G Tournament run. pic.twitter.com/mBpC1An3nz — The Hoosier Network (@TheHoosierNet) March 6, 2022 https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Something has been brewing under the table for Indiana, and Sunday’s championship final against No. 2 seed Iowa, set to tip at 4 p.m., will be the ultimate test. The Hawkeyes toppled the Hoosiers two times in a 48-hour period just under two weeks ago, leaving Indiana heartbroken. But that was two weeks ago. I can imagine that Indiana has never been hungrier for a win. Beating the same team three times in one season is difficult for any team to do, even one with Caitlin Clark. But, the Hoosiers seem as ready as ever for the contest. They've faced adversity and taken the losses, but it's all led to a possible Big Ten title.
INDIANAPOLIS – While Indiana awaits its fate in the NCAA tournament, its spot in the Big Ten is set in stone for now. Not only did Indiana’s presence ignite the fire from beneath Gainbridge Fieldhouse’s hardwood, but history was made Friday. A tenacious, statement 62-51 win over No. 4 seed Maryland will be a Hoosier win fans will be reading about for years to come. For the first time in the history of Indiana women’s basketball, the Hoosiers have upset the Terps twice in one season. This is also the first time Maryland has not been the winner or runner-up of the championship since they joined the league in 2014. For years, Maryland and Indiana have had one of the most robust rivalries in all of the Big Ten, and the Hoosiers were not going to let the Terps get away with two wins in one week after Maryland defeated IU on Feb. 25. “Maryland has always been the bar,” head coach Teri Moren said. “And if they tell you they're not, then I think they're lying.” The reason why Maryland’s engine rarely ever runs out from start to finish begins with its ability to seize control of the game’s momentum from the get go, and that just did not happen Friday. The Terps went 0-12 on 3-point shooting, shot 31 percent from the field, and missed many second, even third, rebounds. There were many 50-50 balls in this matchup with the Hoosiers getting most of them, which was very upsetting to Maryland head coach Brenda Frese. “That's usually us and especially when you're talking about day-two legs for Indiana,” Frese said. “I mean, they were hungrier. They were more aggressive. And they did it for 40 minutes.” Maryland forward Angel Reese was the Terp to look out for in this matchup, considering she made 20 points and tallied 16 rebounds in their last meeting. On Friday, Reese went 5-for-11 from the field and ultimately fouled out of the game in the fourth. Moren knew that Indiana was going to have to be extra special on that side of the ball, and an early foul on Reese in the first quarter destroyed her confidence for the rest of the game, Frese said. “She (Reese) got caught up in the physicality, the lack of calls that she perceived that needed to be there,” Frese said. “But from her end that doesn't help us. That's an area for her that Indiana did a great job of being physical with her and being aggressive.” To say this was a fast-paced game would be an understatement. The Hoosiers punched first and they never looked back. Mackenzie Holmes is looking a lot more like her old self with every matchup that comes and goes. She led Indiana with 17 points and was very crafty in the post when her teammates needed her. Holmes is getting her groove back after missing eight games and the frustrations within her and the team are slowly dissipating. “There's a lot behind the scenes that was a struggle as well,” Holmes said. “I think it's just the trust that my teammates and my coaches have in me is huge for me.” There was not much 3-point play Friday from either team, but per usual, Grace Berger was substantially executing Grace Berger things and her classic mid-range jumpers to put her team in a profitable defensive position. She added 16 points, 11 rebounds and four assists. While she’s proud of the win, that’s not necessarily what she’s focused on. “At the end of the day, it's just the quarterfinals,” Berger said. “We still have two more games. Our goal is to win the Big Ten Championship and then we'll worry about the NCAA Tournament.” Sophomore guard Chloe Moore-McNeil’s basketball IQ is ascending in every game she plays. Her defense is pugnacious and she’s swift on her feet, adding seven points today. “We have all the confidence in the world in Chloe, and I think she just needed to have that in herself,” Holmes said. “Just watching her do what she does on the court, her length, her ability to drive in the lane, but also her ability to shoot and defend has just helped us so much.” After a Maryland turnover towards the end of the third, Moore-McNeil grabbed the clutch steal and handed it to Berger, who made it all the way down the stretch for a classic Berger buzzer-beater to end the quarter. While the momentum of this game was in the palms of Indiana’s hands from the start, this was a great way to set the tone and keep up the energy going into the fourth. The vast showing of Hoosier fans Friday afternoon at Gainbridge may have aided in Indiana leaving with this win. After a missed 3 by Maryland forward/guard Chloe Bibby, a flock of passionate Hoosiers began to chant “airball” and didn’t stop for the remainder of the game. It was all downhill for the Terps from there. “The noise might not be as deafening as it is in the Hall,” Moren said. “We still can sense it, we could feel it, we could hear it and there's no doubt that they (the crowd) give us energy.” A smiling Moren at the postgame press conference gave off the impression that Saturday will not be the last day of the tournament for them. Indiana will play No. 1 seed Ohio State in the 11th game at 3:30 p.m. Saturday back in Gainbridge. The Hoosiers’ last meeting with Ohio State was over two months ago on the road where they beat the Buckeyes by 20. While they will not be playing in Bloomington or Columbus, Moren knows this team is capable of getting a win anywhere, anytime . “And it’s such a great life lesson — when you come up short,” Moren said. “You go through periods where it’s frustrating and it’s tough and it’s disappointing. The ability that these guys have to bounce back and always teach me the lesson of that. I think they teach our coaches that, right?”
Join Mina Denny, Carlo Barone, and Tommy Spaletto for our sixth episode as the trio breaks down a heartbreaking Maryland loss to finish off the Hoosier’s regular season. The women of Indiana basketball are gearing up for the Big Ten Tournament, which begins tomorrow for them in downtown Indianapolis. The crew discusses and predicts all the hypothetical situations the Hoosiers could possibly be in this week…and how this will ultimately affect their seeding in the NCAA tournament. [spreaker type=player resource="episode_id=48927837" width="100%" height="200px" theme="light" playlist="false" playlist-continuous="false" chapters-image="true" episode-image-position="right" hide-logo="false" hide-likes="false" hide-comments="false" hide-sharing="false" hide-download="true"]
[spreaker type=player resource="episode_id=48847433" width="100%" height="200px" theme="light" playlist="false" playlist-continuous="false" chapters-image="true" episode-image-position="right" hide-logo="false" hide-likes="false" hide-comments="false" hide-sharing="false" hide-download="true"] On the fifth episode of the Indiana Women's Basketball Podcast, hosts Mina Denny and Carlo Barone, in company with Joe Brennan and Abby Haymond, break down IUWBB's last six matchups. The group highlights some bright spots from wins against Illinois, Michigan State, and Northwestern, but also analyzes what went wrong in a flustering loss to Nebraska and of course, two heart-breaking back-to-back losses to Iowa. The return of Mackenzie Holmes was supposed to be exponential for Indiana, but so far, the four are very concerned with her performance and consider that she may not be at full strength heading into their final postseason game against Maryland and into the Big Ten Tournament. It's getting down to the wire for the women of Indiana basketball, and we got all the takes, the hot and the ugly.
Return of the Mack: No. 5 Indiana beats Northwestern in Mackenzie Holmes’ first game back from injury
The wait is over. Mack is finally back. But junior forward Mackenzie Holmes’ return after missing eight games with an injury wasn’t the only bright spot Thursday night in the annual Pink Game, as No. 5 Indiana defeated Northwestern 69-58 in a physical Big Ten battle, advancing to 11-3 in conference play and 19-4 overall. Not only did the Hoosiers redeem themselves after a flustering upset against unranked Nebraska on Monday night, but Indiana held Northwestern to only five free-throw attempts, a factor that aided in head coach Teri Moren’s 100th Assembly Hall win Thursday evening. “You look at some of their (Northwestern’s) previous games, the games that they won, they’re getting to the free-throw line either 22, 23, 25 times,” Moren said. “That was a real important key going into this contest was keeping them off the free-throw line.” ? Hoosier Victory ⚪️? pic.twitter.com/JZtRp037AL — Indiana Women’s Basketball (@IndianaWBB) February 18, 2022 https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Wildcats senior guard Veronica Burton was a big threat entering this matchup, averaging 18 points and scoring 20 Thursday night. She upped her basketball IQ this past summer playing on Team USA alongside IU guard Grace Berger. As Burton leads the Big Ten in blocks and second in assists, Moren and her staff knew that they couldn’t have her controlling the game defensively by giving up the ball. “She’s (Burton) obviously the head of the snake,” Moren said. “But we also knew that she’s kind of slippery off the ball screen.” Whether it was a high ball or a horn screen, Indiana’s post-plugs protected the rim from Burton. Tip your cap to senior forward Aleksa Gulbe, as she made it very difficult for Burton to get into the paint and find open shooters. The Cats have prided themselves on not allowing the ball to go in that matchup defense, but they were playing blizzard and were out of position in their defensive slides, and Gulbe took advantage of that by sneaking in off the weak side, enervating Northwestern’s communication. Gulbe was excellent offensively — finding openings and cracks in the Cats defense — recording her third double-double of the season with 20 points and 12 rebounds. She was a Northwestern assassin Thursday, and her four-point play in the third is what really got the momentum going in IU’s favor down the final stretch. “We think she’s (Gulbe) one of the best, or the best, stretch forward defenders in our league,” Moren said. “We just rely on her so much.” .@GulbeAleksa count it and-1! She completes the 4-point play at the line! pic.twitter.com/B09tjd8Yga — Indiana Women’s Basketball (@IndianaWBB) February 18, 2022 https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Next to Gulbe, guard Nicole Cardaño-Hillary continues to be the small but mighty motor of this Indiana team. She added 17 points, four rebounds, and had back-to-back triples early in the second. The way she was repeatedly left wide open leaves Indiana looking in perfect mid-February form. Berger, who also played with a fractured nose, added 15 points, her 20th time scoring in double-figures in 23 games this season. The Hoosiers shot 60 percent in the fourth behind seven points from both Berger and Cardaño-Hillary, strengthening their defensive lead. “Not only because of her (Berger’s) ability to attack and pull up and score, but also for her ability to facilitate,” Moren said. “With the ball in Grace Berger’s hands down the stretch, we knew that she was going to make the right decision as she came off the ball screen.” "If we have open shots, shoot it with confidence." Aleksa Gulbe says @TeriMoren tells them to always shoot with confidence. #IUWBB pic.twitter.com/Ud91DTjqG2 — The Hoosier Network (@TheHoosierNet) February 18, 2022 https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js The Hall warmly welcomed Holmes back Thursday after being out since Jan. 5 due to injury. Indiana certainly missed Holmes’ defensive presence and stat-line, and it was impressive how fearless she played considering her knee surgery was less than a month ago. “She looked like she hadn’t played in a month,” Moren said. “That will all come back because she’s just too good of a player.” Holmes posted six rebounds and six points for the Hoosiers, and Moren said that they just needed her to be comfortable and 100 percent sure that she was in the right mindset if she wanted to play Thursday. While she didn’t come back scoring her average 18, it was a perfect tune-up game for her. Looking toward the final stretch of the regular season, three of Indiana’s tougher tests of the Big Ten are creeping up, and the brutal loss against Nebraska was somewhat of a wakeup call before these tall tasks. “We were bitterly disappointed that we let that one slip away from us,” Moren said of the Nebraska loss. “So, we’re going to have to control our own destiny as we go down the stretch.” Indiana will be back in Assembly Hall Saturday at 4 p.m. for the first of the team’s back-to-back games against Iowa.
[spreaker type=player resource="episode_id=48649731" width="100%" height="200px" theme="light" playlist="false" playlist-continuous="false" chapters-image="true" episode-image-position="right" hide-logo="false" hide-likes="false" hide-comments="false" hide-sharing="false" hide-download="true" color="b60404"] Welcome to the first edition of Joseph & Joseph presented by The Hoosier Network — your new hub for all things bracketology! Join Joseph Brennan and Hank Joseph as the duo serves as your college basketball experts up until the month of March. Listen in as the Joseph's help you decide which teams to pencil into your bracket this season. On this episode, the guys give you some insight about which teams are deserving of your trust come March, preview upcoming Big Ten matchups, review UVA’s big upset last night against Duke, and much more. Stay tuned for new episodes airing twice a week until the madness begins.
[spreaker type=player resource="episode_id=48626589" width="100%" height="350px" theme="light" playlist="false" playlist-continuous="false" chapters-image="true" episode-image-position="right" hide-logo="false" hide-likes="false" hide-comments="false" hide-sharing="false" hide-download="false" color="ffc005"] Join Mina Denny for the first episode of Clear The Air's new mini-series airing this month only: Black History Matters. In light of it being Black History Month, HN has collaborated with IUSTV on this month-long project to spotlight Black athletes, coaches, and professors around the Bloomington community. Gary "Doc" Sailes -- author, speaker, and retired associate professor -- joins us for the first episode. Growing up overseas as a military brat, Doc was immersed in much cultural diversity and people of every demographic. He also grew up with a passion for sport, prompting him to consider how race and sport work in conjunction with one another. Whether Doc is teaching a sport and social justice class, giving Black athletes a platform to speak, or writing a book about the Black athlete experience, he has and is creating a safe space for open conversation about these controversies.
Rarely can anyone wake up from a 15-day coma and resume life the way it was. Even more so, to a life that’s better than before. Alas, No. 5 Indiana fell victim to its two-week midseason pause, only to be upset by No. 6 Michigan tonight on blue and maize hardwood. Giving up their No. 1 spot in the conference, the Hoosiers’ nine-game win streak came to halt with a final score of 65-50, moving to 9-1 in Big Ten play. In addition to Indiana having its past three games postponed due to COVID-19 protocols, the Hoosiers were once again without Mackenzie Holmes due to injury. Head coach Teri Moren isn’t here to make excuses for the loss, but acknowledged that Monday was an off night for them. “Looked, really I thought…rusty,” Moren said. “We had no real rhythm, no fluidity in anything we did offensively.” After the longest break Moren has ever experienced in her career and with their All-American benched, Indiana was forced to play a four-guard lineup, making it very difficult to put pressure on the Wolverine defense. Another wrinkle that got in the way of a 10th straight win was Michigan’s Naz Hillmon. Unlike most post players, Hillmon doesn't need her eyes to spot the perfect pick-n-roll. She has an insane nose for the ball and a great feel for where her defenders are, and without that normal set of post players, Indiana attempting to double-team Hillmon was just a lost cause. “They came out and punched us pretty good…in the mouth,” Moren said. In regard to getting Hillmon in foul trouble and disrupting her play, Moren thought that her team had done a better job of forcing her into coercion in previous years. “We’ve done a pretty good job on her (Hillmon),” Moren said. “Matter of fact, I think we would probably tell you that we’ve done the best job on her in the past.” The Holmeses and Hillmons of the world will persist, but they weren’t Indiana’s only problems Monday. The Hoosiers were only two points behind Michigan going into the third, and even started the second with a 10-0 run. Guard Nicole Cardaño-Hillary played phenomenally — setting the tone defensively with 16 points, eight steals, five rebounds, and two assists — but she can’t be the only one putting effective pressure on. Shooting 33 percent from the field and 21 percent from the 3-point line is just unacceptable for a team as seasoned as Indiana. The field goal percentage seen from guard Ali Patberg on Monday was not something expected from a seventh year senior. “Ali, and I said this to her because I can, Ali has to be so much better for us,” Moren said. “She can’t go 4-for-13, not with the amount of time she spends in the gym.” The Hoosiers did try out some different looks and had some success — playing zone in hopes to circumvent foul trouble, consistent dominance inside the paint, turning 25 Michigan turnovers into 21 points — but the third quarter was really where the game was lost. When playing people out of position, Indiana’s margin of error has been slimmer as of late. Indiana’s coaching staff took a big risk in the third with forward Kiandra Browne, still choosing to put her in with four fouls on her back. “In order for us to stay in the game, we had to do something different,” Moren said. “You’re rolling the dice…sometimes you take those chances and they work out, and sometimes they don’t.” Without focusing too much on the woulda, coulda, shoulda, the Hoosiers only plan to dwell on this loss for the next 24 hours. While these up and down moments cannot be afforded right now, Moren is confident that her team will grow immensely from this loss and come back stronger for Thursday night's matchup against Minnesota at home. “Come tomorrow, the sun’s going to come up,” Moren said. “I know my group better than anyone, we’ll bounce back.”
[spreaker type=player resource="episode_id=48340729" width="100%" height="200px" theme="light" playlist="false" playlist-continuous="false" chapters-image="true" episode-image-position="right" hide-logo="false" hide-likes="false" hide-comments="false" hide-sharing="false" hide-download="true"] Listen in to the third edition of the Indiana Women's Basketball Podcast as Mina Denny, Carlo Barone, Joe Brennan, and Kevin Vera recap the team's most recent wins against Nebraska and a nail-biter against Purdue. Due to the loss of Mackenzie Holmes and Nicole Cardaño-Hillary, Indiana is looking like a completely different team. Without their original starting five, will Indiana be able to prevail through the all mighty Big Ten? Well, we got all the takes...the hot and the ugly.
[spreaker type=player resource="episode_id=48259605" width="100%" height="200px" theme="light" playlist="false" playlist-continuous="false" chapters-image="true" episode-image-position="right" hide-logo="false" hide-likes="false" hide-comments="false" hide-sharing="false" hide-download="true" color="eb144c"] Join Mina Denny, Carlo Barone, and Joe Brennan as they recap Indiana's most recent win against Wisconsin and a historic upset against Maryland to kick-off 2022. The trio also previews Thursday's upcoming matchup against Nebraska while begging the question...where is the bench?
[spreaker type=player resource="episode_id=48089418" width="100%" height="200px" theme="light" playlist="false" playlist-continuous="false" chapters-image="true" episode-image-position="right" hide-logo="false" hide-likes="false" hide-comments="false" hide-sharing="false" hide-download="true" color="eb144c"] Join Mina Denny and Carlo Barone as the duo reviews what they've seen so far from the first half of the 2021-2022 season, and what they expect from the Hoosiers moving forward into the new year.
Indiana forward Kiandra Browne eyed the white netting on Nov. 14 in the midst of an offensive dribble drive play against No. 13 Kentucky. But as she sliced through the paint, part of her identity was left behind. Browne abandoned the play, collapsed to the floor and reached for her hijab. The four other Hoosiers on the court weren’t concerned about the ball, though. They rushed to Browne’s side and surrounded her, making sure she was hidden from the flock of jubilant fans in Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. Although there was still a game to be won, Browne was the priority at that moment.During the offseason, Browne told her teammates she was nervous about beginning this season with an added wrinkle: her hijab — a head covering allowing Islamic women to retain their modesty, morals and freedom of choice.“I’m scared,” Browne said. “I don’t know what’s going to happen if my scarf comes off. Like am I going to go for the ball...am I going to go for my scarf?” Indiana junior forward Mackenzie Holmes never gave it a second thought. She gathered the team in the locker room: “Everyone, if KB’s scarf comes off we’re all getting around her.”The team agreed, “Yeah, of course, we got you.”Relief brought a smile to Browne’s lips.“Hearing that made me tear up because I was like, ‘Wow.’ I was so scared,” Browne said. Browne converted from Christianity to Islam before she began her sophomore year, and was nervous about the reaction she’d get from all the eyes that are constantly on her. At the same time, she was dealing with the demanding process of rehab due to offseason hip surgery. Whether she’s switching sports, moving between countries, or changing the way she pursues her faith, Browne has never felt more welcomed by a school and by a team. She’s embracing her role as the sixth man for one of the top teams in women’s college basketball, and all of life’s realizations that come her way.
[spreaker type=player resource="episode_id=47897204" width="100%" height="200px" theme="light" playlist="false" playlist-continuous="false" chapters-image="true" episode-image-position="right" hide-logo="false" hide-likes="false" hide-comments="false" hide-sharing="false" hide-download="false" color="8ed1fc"] The ninth episode of "Clear The Air" welcomes a very, very special guest. Hoosier Network's own, Eden Snower! Eden is a gifted photographer and videographer, but when she doesn't have a camera in her hand, you'll find her at the gym practicing her bar or tumbling routines. Eden has some amazing insight and stories to share about growing up as a competitive gymnast, and all the horrors that came with it. Today, Mina and Eden will consider how there's certain things in gymnastics that people don't necessarily always see, or that have been hidden from the public eye. We touched on topics such as emotional and verbal abuse from coaches, the significance of quitting, and even how Eden could've almost ended up in the care of Larry Nassar.
Clear The Air: Being an International Player at a Big Ten School with Hanna Németh and Kate Matthews
[spreaker type=player resource="episode_id=47471174" width="100%" height="200px" theme="light" playlist="false" playlist-continuous="false" chapters-image="true" episode-image-position="right" hide-logo="false" hide-likes="false" hide-comments="false" hide-sharing="false" hide-download="false" color="8ed1fc"] Playing on a soccer team of 30-year-old women as a 10-year-old. Being put on an all-boys team because all-girls teams did not exist. Traveling from Hungary, to Croatia, to America – chasing her soccer dream. Sounds like a lot? Sure, but not for Hanna Németh. As a 23-year-old, Németh has already accomplished what most athletes hope to achieve in their entire athletic career. From being a member of the Hungarian National Team to participating in the Istria Cup in Croatia to being named a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree and three-time Big Ten Distinguished Scholar honoree, Németh has excelled immensely, on and off the field. On the eighth edition of “Clear The Air,” Mina Denny is joined by her friend and colleague Kate Matthews to interview Németh about not only her experience being a defender on the IU women’s soccer team, but how her upbringing in Diósd, Hungary affected the kind of person and player she is today. Németh has always been competitive, but growing up as a triplet may have allowed for that competitiveness to flourish. “Ever since we were little, if one of us started doing something, then the rest of the triplets wanted to join right away,” Nemeth said. “I tried to beat my sisters in whatever it was, it was just a mindset.” And that mindset stuck with her throughout the development of her technique and skill, trying to become the best player she could be. Organized soccer is a bit different in countries other than the United States. Németh grew up playing soccer in unusual conditions, being that she was on an all-boys team for a while and played with grown women as a child. While these experiences were fun and individual to who Németh is, she always knew she was destined for more. “Stopping was never really an option,” Németh said. “Training never felt like something that I didn’t want to do.” Realizing that she was one of the best soccer players in Hungary further reassured her that moving to the states and playing collegiate soccer in the Big Ten was the right decision. Németh’s family was fully supportive of her decision to leave Diósd to continue her academic and athletic career. Not only has Németh been able to experience playing soccer at the American level, but she’s outdone herself in academics, achieving a 4.0 GPA and recently being named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District First Team. She will be graduating with her Master's in December. Németh finished her fifth and final season at IU this fall, but she’s not done yet. Professional soccer aspirations are very near in her future. “It’s not a traditional career path, but it’s a very exciting process,” Németh said. For a girl who wants to experience it all, Németh is ready to say goodbye to Bloomington and say hello to a new country and immerse herself in yet another new culture.
[spreaker type=player resource="episode_id=47363902" width="100%" height="200px" theme="light" playlist="false" playlist-continuous="false" chapters-image="true" episode-image-position="right" hide-logo="false" hide-likes="false" hide-comments="false" hide-sharing="false" hide-download="false" color="8ed1fc"] Athletes will be athletes, but they’re humans too. The seventh episode of “Clear The Air” featuring freelance writer and sports journalist David Gardner addresses a common struggle amongst professional athletes — being seen only as an athlete and not a human being. Gardner’s experience spending time with athletes and sharing their stories has allowed him to realize what this concept entails. “I think that people who don’t want athletes to speak up about things that are important to them are viewing athletes only as a commodity,” Gardner said. In the case of college and professional athletes, it takes a lot of sacrifice for them to get to the point where they can perform at the highest level. Athletes go through hard times just like everyone else, and it’s important to acknowledge that they’re not just there for entertainment. When a kid is identified as a star athlete, the circumstances in which they grow up in will begin to change, Gardner said. Many have a difficult time trusting people because they don’t know if their success or fame will be taken advantage of. It’s also difficult to navigate the path one’s going in when they’re given such a substantial platform in such a youthful period of life. “I try to think about what kind of person I would have turned out to have been if, when I was 19 years old, someone would’ve given me 5,000 Twitter followers and $10 million,” Gardner said. “I tend to think I wouldn’t be a really self-actualized person.” When athletes rise to fame at such a young age, their sport becomes their life. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as sport can provide a shared-identity amongst players and others in the community of sport, Gardner said. “Sport gives people an identity,” Gardner said. “People find that sense of identity in all sorts of places but especially in sport, there are so many great lessons that come along.” Particularly for athletes who come from more difficult backgrounds, sport is an amazing outlet to let go of everything going on in one’s mind. The body aches, mental struggles, the bad days, all of it — sport is a special time to let go of all the hard things that make up this thing called life. Ten minutes on the basketball court for a player may be small in real time, but it may allow for a moment where those daily troubles aren’t so engulfing anymore.
One for one, but a hefty season awaits. The women of Indiana basketball certainly lived up to all the hysteria surrounding them this season, defeating the University of Indianapolis Greyhounds 97-43 in a blowout exhibition game Friday. It was the first game this season at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall, and gave all 13 players an opportunity to show out on the court. This is a very veteran team. Forward All-American Mackenzie Holmes led the Hoosiers with 19 points and seven rebounds, seventh year graduate guard Ali Patberg finished with 14 points, two rebounds, and three assists, and All-American guard Grace Berger had 13 points, three rebounds, and five assists. While most of Hoosier nation knows what to expect from these veterans, sophomore guard Chloe Moore-McNeil may be the Hoosier who surprises fans the most this year, playing the most minutes out of everyone in this game. After a run to the Elite Eight last season, head coach Teri Moren realized depth within the team was lacking. Moren said the players got fatigued in the Elite Eight game against Arizona, and the team needs more depth coming into this season. Indiana looks to have players coming off the bench who don’t just exist, but produce; and players such as Moore-McNeil may just allow for that deepness to take shape. “She came off the bench ready,” Moren said. “Chloe came in from the beginning and guarded everything almost exactly how we wanted it to look like.” Freshman guard Kaitlin Peterson grinds on and off the court every day, Moren said. She will be another new face that will help Indiana deepen its run this year, playing 21 minutes and scoring 12 points off the bench Friday. Holmes said she was thrilled to see younger players contribute and bring new energy into Assembly Hall. “Their ability to mature in front of our eyes on the court today was really special,” Holmes said. While the entire team saw minutes Friday, the offense was not up to Indiana’s standards. Friday’s game was a learning lesson, Holmes said, and will allow for a few wrinkles to get smoothed out before their first regular season game. Getting out-rebounded, missing free throws, and rotating off the bench from one post player to another because of foul trouble against a non-conference team, is just not going to cut it as the season progresses, Moren said. “To sit here and say that the Big Ten is going to look just like how it looked tonight, is probably a careless comment,” Moren said. “Reality is, it’s not going to happen.” No matter what five were on the court Friday, every group played with rhythm and communication. Much of this chemistry comes from the leadership of Patberg, Holmes and Berger, Moren said. “They are an example of what a good team that has great chemistry every day is,” Moren said. “They walk their walk and talk the talk. It’s obviously paid dividends for us.” Moren said that because of Patberg’s and Berger’s experience with the team, she’s more their manager than coach at this point. Protecting and managing their minutes on the floor is crucial this season, as they both have put a lot of mileage on their legs after Indiana’s deep run and Berger playing with Team USA over the summer. While Patberg said she was scared the emotions might get to her when she ran out in her stripes for the first time for the very last time, she felt a different emotion. “I was afraid I might tear up a little, but I’m excited, and I’m so thankful I’m here,” Patberg said. Being a process-oriented team, Indiana isn’t too focused on what’s to come, but more focused on working out little kinks, one day at a time. Indiana will begin its regular season on Wednesday, Nov. 10 in Indianapolis against Butler at Hinkle Fieldhouse.
Emily Fitzner carried a duffle bag into Wilkinson Hall’s locker room on Oct. 2 minutes before Indiana took the floor against Penn State. Eighteen black bows. That’s what IU’s players saw as they gathered around the bag. Fitzner handed out a bow to each player, one by one. Hoosier players had seen a single black bow on the court before, exclusively worn by IU volleyball libero Paula Cerame at the Hoosiers’ opening scrimmage in August. In the past, Cerame often tied the bow in her ponytail, paired with a blue and orange uniform in the O’Dome in Gainesville, Florida; but never paired with a cream and crimson uniform in Bloomington. That all changed on Oct. 2 when No. 14 Penn State traveled to Wilkinson Hall for a matchup against Indiana. The Hoosiers took to the court dressed in their standard crimson tops and black bottoms, but this time with an added wrinkle: Cerame’s black bow. “Everyone asked why I wore it,” Cerame said. “If I’m being completely honest, we don’t get the chance to wear earrings or do our hair. It’s the only thing that makes me feel girly.” This was only the sixth home match of the season for Indiana, but Cerame’s presence was already emanating through her teammates. If you knew her, though, that shouldn’t come as a surprise. In fact, Indiana isn’t the first school Cerame left a permanent mark at. She’s always been on the go, chasing her volleyball dream. Journeying from country to country, city to city and university to university, Cerame has seemingly left an impression everywhere she’s been — one black bow at a time. The city of Gainesville is often heralded for its majestic butterflies and colorful birds that flutter in the breeze. It was there, playing at the University of Florida, where Cerame got her start. But after three seasons with the Gators, Cerame was in search of something new. A fresh start. A new challenge. A different location; looking to hitch a ride on a breeze of her own. Then, IU head coach Steve Aird called. “My connection with Steve was super natural,” Cerame said. But the Big Ten is unlike anything Cerame had experienced while playing in the Southeastern Conference. Currently, Purdue, Ohio State, Nebraska and Wisconsin are all ranked in the Top 10. The SEC features just three teams ranked in the top 25 — Kentucky, Tennessee and Florida. Naturally, success often came easier to Cerame against weaker competition in the SEC, but as she transitioned to the mighty Big Ten, Cerame said, she now must look at every match like it’s the national championship. Arriving in Bloomington amidst Aird’s total rebuild of IU’s middling volleyball program, while playing such a key position such as the libero, Cerame had to quickly put on her authoritative cap with the Hoosiers. Since arriving ahead of the 2021 season, Cerame has been able to guide IU’s young, inexperienced team -- one with four freshmen and eight newcomers -- with leadership and reassurance. Despite Indiana’s underwhelming 8-12 record this season, Cerame hasn’t backed down from a challenge. “Playing the role that some people played with me, just giving back in a way,” Cerame said. “Because at some point I’m going to be gone, so they’re going to have to do the same thing with the freshmen that they’ll lead at some point. It’s a teaching moment for them, too.” Black bows will likely remain a constant at Wilkinson Hall, but the significance of their origin goes well beyond the confines of the volleyball gym. *** At 13, Cerame wandered into a nearby country club in her hometown of San Juan, Puerto Rico. In that country club, she played every sport imaginable with her friends. Tennis. Soccer. Basketball. Volleyball. You name it, she’s tried it. But Cerame never anticipated that she’d have to choose one of them that day, not just to play but to pursue for the rest of her career. “My tennis coach sat me down, told me things were getting really competitive, and asked me to choose,” Cerame said. “I was an innocent kid, so I was like, ‘Hmm, volleyball’s more fun, it’s a team sport,’ so I just went with that.” Sitting on Puerto Rico’s Atlantic coast, Cerame was raised around vast fortresses with sweeping ocean views and the baby blue La Fortaleza mansion, amongst many other colorful Spanish establishments appearing throughout all of old San Juan. Beyond the city’s rich culture and tradition, it might have been the cherished Puerto Rican values of family and togetherness Cerame was raised upon that prompted her to choose volleyball over tennis, considering the team element. As a young girl, the only thing Cerame was accustomed to was family. Hominess. A big circle of everyone knowing everyone, blood-related or not. Walking around her tight-knit neighborhood she knew everyone, and everyone knew her. “Growing up in that environment always made me look at people like 'If you're my friend, if you’re my teammate, you’re a part of my family,’” Cerame said. “If you’re ever over at my house, I’ll treat you like you’re my mom or dad.” These principles followed her to the states when she moved to Boca Raton, Florida, at 13. Coming from an athletic family, the transition to American sport was a natural fit. Her father, Jose Cerame, played volleyball at Ohio State and several of Paula’s cousins played volleyball at George Mason, Penn State and Texas. Competing in collegiate volleyball was invariably in Cerame’s future. She knew she would follow in her relatives’ footsteps one day. The move to the states and to American sport didn’t necessarily force Cerame to change anything about herself or her approach playing volleyball, even though Cerame said American volleyball is much faster. Even while living in San Juan, Cerame played the game with as much speed and rigor as an American player. The competitive side of Cerame was always in her. Playing at the level of an American kid was repeatedly ingrained by her father. He constantly demonstrated and fed her the skills and fierceness needed to succeed in NCAA volleyball from a young age, virtually bringing that side of her to the forefront when she moved to Florida. “In Puerto Rico we played just for fun,” Cerame said. “But I always knew I wanted to go beyond ‘just for fun.’” Many people might regret leaving their home country, but Cerame didn’t. As she watched her Puerto Rican relatives thrive and live out her own dreams in the states, Cerame didn’t hesitate to leave San Juan. Part of her parents' departure was because she had much higher chances of getting recruited if she lived in America, and that was her family's objective. The move not only brought Cerame closer to her dream, but added more members to the large family she already had. While she may not reside in the place where her journey began, the connections she’s made along the way have followed her throughout. “If I grab the phone, if I ever need anything from anyone at Florida, in Puerto Rico, here, I can be like ‘Hey, I need your help,’ and someone will always be there for me,” Cerame said. Tony Quiles, Cerame’s first ever club coach in Puerto Rico, moved to Evansville, Indiana, in 2015. Cerame still stays in contact with Quiles, and he was able to cheer her on at the match against Penn State when she tallied a team-high 19 digs. Seeing her growth from age seven to age 20, was a special coach-player moment for the both of them, and further reassures Cerame that she made the right choice by leaving. Cerame watched her older cousin, Paulina Prieto Cerame, play two years of volleyball for Aird at Penn State before transferring to Texas. Little did 15-year-old Cerame know, Aird would coach her one day too. When Cerame entered the transfer portal her sophomore year, Aird reached out about Indiana. Before reaching back out to him, she consulted with Paulina first. Paulina encouraged Cerame to take a leap of faith with Aird, so she grabbed the phone and called Aird back. She accepted his offer to be the second Cerame under his guidance. “I was like, ‘Small world, you coached my cousin,’ and he was like, ‘Duh, I already knew that,’” Cerame said. “It was meant to be in a way.” Every decision in Cerame’s life — a move to the United States, competing as a Gator, connecting with Aird — made her dream a reality. Cerame has waved hello and goodbye to many volleyball courts, and it can be hard to fit in and make an impact at each new place. But at IU, that hasn’t been the case. “Paula has been a huge part of what we do,” Aird said. “She’s fearless.” And that fearlessness has seemingly manifested throughout the Hoosiers. Eighteen new sisters, 18 black bows. Had it not been for the leap of faith Cerame and her family took when she was only 13, perhaps she never ends up at Indiana. Perhaps the cream and crimson uniform always remained blue and orange. Perhaps the black bow is nonexistent in Bloomington. But Cerame doesn’t have to wonder about the what ifs. She’s doing it her way — the only way she’s ever known how. “I don’t regret anything,” Cerame said. In a family that’s known little else other than college volleyball, Cerame has trekked in the same path. Only now, she’s added her own distinctive twist to the family lineage. A black bow.