Volleyball splits two matches on the road

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After claiming three-straight shutout victories to open up its conference season, the University of Indianapolis volleyball team dropped its first match of the season to the Rockhurst University Hawks 3-1 (24-26, 22-25, 25-23, 20-25).

Despite each set being close, the Hawks snuck by the Greyhounds, taking all three of their sets by five points or less.

Prior to the loss, UIndy claimed its third straight shutout victory in a 3-0 win over the William Jewell College Cardinals (25-6, 25-13, 25-18).

The Greyhounds took every set in dominant fashion, with their first set 25-6 win being the largest margin of the season.

UIndy picked up their first set of conference wins during the previous weekend against the Drury University Panthers and the Missouri S&T Miners.

In a 3-0 sweep on Saturday, Sept. 13, against the Panthers (25-19, 25-14, 31-29), the Greyhounds demonstrated their resilience in the third set, defeating Drury despite the Panthers’ 7-1 run that tied the set at 24, following a 23-17 deficit.

Junior outside hitter Hailey Brown sends the ball back across the net on Sept. 14 at a home game in Ruth Lilly. Photo by Kameron Casey

Junior outside hitter Hailey Brown sends the ball back across the net on Sept. 14 at a home game in Ruth Lilly. Photo by Kameron Casey

Senior setter Meghan Binkerd, who led the Greyhounds, put up 41 assists and 10 digs.  Alongside Binkerd, two new players made their mark for UIndy, including junior UT-Martin transfer outside hitter Lynsey Hazelwood, who recorded 19 kills, and true freshman outside hitter Kacee Salyers, who had 14 digs and eight kills.

“It was nice to win my last first home game,” Binkerd said following the victory over Drury. “Just winning in three [sets] and getting that back on our record [was an accomplishment].”

The following match on Sunday, Sept. 14 followed suit for the Greyhounds.  UIndy triumphed over the Miners 3-0 (25-13, 27-25, 25-13), led by junior outside hitter Hailey Brown, who chalked up 15 kills and 14 digs. Hazelwood and Binkerd stayed consistent in the afternoon match, with Hazelwood claiming 10 kills and eight digs, and Binkerd creating 42 assists and 11 digs.  Senior outside hitter Arielle Knafel also finished with 17 digs, and redshirt sophomore middle blocker Hannah Bauer claimed 11 kills.

Prior to the weekend, UIndy began the season with a record of 1-4.

“Expectation-wise, the record doesn’t really indicate how good we are,” said second-year Head Volleyball Coach Jason Reed. “We are a whole lot better than that, but all of our losses have been to top 15 teams.”

Despite the early losses, Reed said that he is confident about the season’s potential success. He also said that he is aware of the volleyball squad’s past success, and that his expectations are of nothing less.

“Our girls are really doing a great job, and they have really been adapting well to a new coach,” Reed said.

Reed said that even though this is his second year as the head coach, he understands familiarity is still progressing.

“More and more it becomes the girls that we have recruited, but they are blending in so well with the girls that are already here,” he said.  “And the girls that are already here are such winners.”

As conference play picks up, the Greyhounds hope to live up to high expectations. In the pre-season they were picked to win their division of the Great Lakes Valley Conference, and right now they are currently undefeated.

“For the entire season, it’s going to be what we can control,” Reed said. “If we play to the best of our ability, I like our chances. I think our ceiling is pretty high.”

UIndy will be back in action on Friday, Sept. 26, when the team will travel to Bellarmine University to take on the Knights. The match is set to begin at 7 p.m.

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