The University of Indianapolis volleyball traveled to Missouri to face William Jewell College on Nov. 7, and Rockhurst University on Nov. 6.
Training for the weekend on the road, junior middle blocker Becca Lira talked about what the team is doing to prepare for the teams two games.
“We are just doing a lot of competitive stuff,” Lira said. “We’re trying to do everything we can to keep that competitive edge.”
In a five set victory, UIndy beat William Jewell winning every other set they competed in. The set scores were 25-12, 21-25, 25-18, 19-25, 15-13. The win put the Hounds at fourth in the Great Lakes Valley Conference East with a 9-6 conference record.
Lira led the Greyhounds with 20 kills during the match, her fourth 20 kill performance this season.
On defense UIndy had 98 digs through the five matches, making that the second-highest this season. Senior outside hitter Hailey Brown had a match high 26 digs. UIndy freshman setter Maggie Gibson had 17 digs and 52 assists.
Rockhurst swept UIndy with set scores of 25-11, 25-17, 25-18. The Hawks forced trouble at the net for the Greyhounds as UIndy hit a season low attack percentage of -.017. Rockhurst currently leads the Great Lakes Valley Conference in blocks, and had 12 team blocks in the three sets that night.
In 117 total attacks for the Hounds only 25 were kills. Freshman outside hitter Kate Bontrager had a team high 31 total attacks, but junior middle blocker Shelby Ruffner led the team with eight kills.
UIndy had a 3-1 victory over Truman State on Oct. 31 that featured set scores of 28-26, 25-21, 23-25, 25-18. Bontrager had a career-high 20 kills and a team-high .444 attack percentage.
In the first set, both teams went back and forth with early runs, which led to a marathon set that had 11 ties and four lead changes. After being tied 26-26, junior middle blocker Becca Lira and Bontrager had consecutive kills to take the first set.
The Greyhounds had a substantial lead to start the second set until the Bulldogs rallied to threaten a UIndy set victory. Sophomore outside hitter Kacee Salyers had a kill midway through the set, giving UIndy a 24-15 lead, but the Bulldogs gained momentum again. Head Volleyball Coach Reed called a timeout, and the Hounds regrouped and went back out to win the set 25-21.
Truman won the third set 25-23, extending the match. The Greyhounds shut down the Bulldogs in the fourth set, 25-18, winning the match.
UIndy swept Quincy on Oct. 30 in three sets, 25-22, 25-17, 25-14. Ruffner and Salyers had 11 kills each.
During the first set, the Greyhounds had the lead, but the Hawks managed trim the lead late into the set to 23-21 UIndy. Salyers and Bontrager had kills, giving UIndy the win 25-22. In the second set, UIndy opened with a 4-0 lead and held the lead the remainder of the set, winning 25-17. The Hounds won the third set with 17 kills and won the match.
Despite the team’s one loss in the past five games, its overall record is 13-15. Reed does not believe the team’s record showcases the group’s talent.
“I think very highly of our volleyball team, more so than what our record shows,” Reed said. “I think we are immensely talented. We have not put it together all of the time, so it’s been frustrating because we’ve seen tremendous volleyball out of the group.”
The team has played several games this season with two remaining until the conference tournament, and they are determined to finish the season strong said Reed.
“Every week we come in, and we work harder than the week before,” Reed said. “It’s a testament to the character of the group. They’ve worked hard despite our record, despite any of the setbacks. They come in and get after it every week.”
The conference tournament begins Nov. 20, but the team is already preparing for it.
“We’re taking it one day at a time,” Reed said.“We’re going to be okay because they want it bad.”
The Greyhounds’ next match is tonight, Nov. 10, at 7 p.m. in the Ruth Lilly Center.