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Volleyball claims two straight home matches

Posted on 11.12.2014
Senior middle blocker Julia Watkins attempts to jump up and block a strike off the hand of an opposing Missouri S&T player during a home match at the Ruth Lilly Center.Photo by Kameron Casey

Senior middle blocker Julia Watkins attempts to jump up and block a strike off the hand of an opposing Missouri S&T player during a home match at the Ruth Lilly Center.Photo by Kameron Casey

In its final regular season match of the year on Saturday, Nov. 8, the University of Indianapolis volleyball team swept the Bellarmine University Knights to take another conference victory on Senior Day.

During the match against the Knights, UIndy statistically dominated Bellarmine in each set, which led to the clean sweep. The Greyhounds held a comfortable lead in each set, with the only close moment between both teams taking place during the second, when the score was tied at 12.

The Greyhounds were led in their victory by junior outside hitter Hailey Brown, who contributed a team-high 17 kills for UIndy.

Senior setter Meghan Binkerd contributed her typical team-high 38 assists, while senior outside hitter Arielle Knafel finished second in kills behind Brown with 14 of her own. Defensively, senior defensive specialist Kimberly Trojan led the way for the Greyhounds, with a total of 17 digs in the match.

On the night before their final home match, the Greyhounds played host to the University of Southern Indiana Screaming Eagles, and came out victorious 3-1.

Despite a statistically dominating first set, which UIndy claimed 25-15, the Greyhounds allowed USI to seize momentum in the second and win 25-21. The Screaming Eagles carried their momentum into the beginning of the third set, but following a timeout by Head Volleyball Coach Jason Reed, whose squad trailed 12-7 at that time, UIndy adjusted and took back control of the match.

During that timeout, Reed said the coaches expressed one message to the team that motivated them to victory in the set.

“We kind of said, ‘Let’s settle down, and get back to doing things right each play,’” he said. “It was more of a calming and [saying], ‘Lets go out there and do our job. One point at a time, and lets meet them at 20 [points]. We don’t have to do it [take complete control] all at once, and that’s what helped get the momentum back on our side. And at that point, that’s going to help the volleyball. So it all kind of feeds together.”

Following the message from the coaching staff, the Greyhounds went on to edge the Screaming Eagles in the third set, 25-23, and claimed the match altogether with more ease in the fourth, 25-19.

According to Knafel, there were changes for her and her teammates in the third set that sparked their rebound.

“Our team dynamic changed a lot,” she said. “We realized that we were being complacent and that we really wanted this win.”

With the regular season behind them, the Greyhounds enter the Great Lakes Valley Conference Championship Tournament with favorable expectations as champions of the GLVC East. According to Reed, he is confident in the Greyhounds’ postseason potential, because he believes his team has yet to play its best volleyball.

“We haven’t peaked yet, and that’s a positive,” he said. “We have played some really good volleyball at times this year, but I wouldn’t say that we have been on all cylinders for an entire weekend. So that’s still something to look forward to. We’re getting there, [and] we have room to improve for sure.”

The Greyhounds will start postseason play against  the University of Missouri-St. Louis Tritons tomorrow at 2:30 p.m.

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