Volleyball season ends to Rockhurst

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The University of Indianapolis volleyball team ended its season with a loss to Rockhurst University in its first game of the Great Lakes Valley Conference Championship Tournament. UIndy ended its season with a record of 15-16 overall.

In the first set, the Hawks took the early 10-3 lead over the Hounds. UIndy fought back in the middle of the match to improve their score 13-15, but it was not enough, and the Hawks won the set 25-20.

In the second set, the Hounds led with the first two points until the Hawks took a 3-6 lead. For the remainder of the set, there were 11 ties and seven lead changes, until the Hawks finished with another win over the Hounds, 22-25.

The Hounds played their closest set of the game and brought the score within one point at 24-23. Rockhurst made a kill, scoring the last point and taking the game 23-25.

The previous weekend, the team went 1-1 with a loss to the Lewis University Flyers and a win against the University of Wisconsin-Parkside Rangers.

The Greyhounds lost in three sets to the 15th ranked Flyers. The Flyers grabbed the lead at the beginning of the game, scoring 12-2. The Hounds had their worst hitting percentage of the year and gave up a double-digit lead to end the set. The next two sets proved to be consistent with the first, and Lewis took the 3-0 win.

The next day, the Greyhounds picked up the win against the Rangers in four sets. To begin the game, the Rangers sustained a lead over the Hounds for the duration of the first set and eventually won the set 25-20.

After much struggle from Parkside and multiple lead changes, the Hounds pulled out the win 27-25 in the second set. The Rangers led at match point, but a service error brought the score even at 24. To finish out the match, junior outside hitter Kacee Salyers made a kill, and senior middle blocker Shelby Ruffner followed with a block.

Moving into the third, Ruffner made 5 kills and sophomore setter Maggie Gibson contributed with 13 assists. UIndy finished in the fourth with another score of 27-25, after senior outside hitter middle blocker Becca Lira made a kill to seal the game. She finished the game with 11 kills following Ruffner’s 14 and Salyers’ 12.

Sophomore middle blocker Katie Voelz said that despite the unfavorable outcomes earlier in the season, all that matters is the end of the season leading into the Great Lakes Valley Conference Championship Tournament.

“I think we probably want a better record. It just all comes down to how we play at the end of the season. So if we just keep winning, our record doesn’t matter as long as we keep winning.”

Head Volleyball Coach Jason Reed agreed that the team has not had the best record but still has room to make the rest of the season successful.

“We wish we could have a couple matches back,” Reed said. “Obviously, we can’t go back in time and change that. But right now, we’ve got to focus on taking care of business this weekend. And then there are still a few goals we can achieve. And so we have those in terms of getting to the conference tournament, winning the conference tournament, making the NCAA tournament. So there are still some things ahead of us, and we’re still motivated to do those things.”

Voelz said the team just needs to come together in these next games to finish the season strong.

“I go into every match just playing for my teammates, playing for the program, just trying to remember this is an opportunity for me to be a student athlete and do my job the best that I can for my teammates. And I think if every individual on the team does that, we’re going to win.”

Reed said the team has dealt with a lot of adversity, many consisting of injuries and internal conflict throughout the year. Despite these struggles,  he said he believes it has only brought the team closer together.

“We’ve dealt with a pretty fair amount of adversity this season, so kind of staying together through all that is an accomplishment in and of itself. We’ve continually had to find new ways to be successful, and so these are some of the things that don’t go in stats or records or any of those things. But we’ve really dealt with a lot this year, and we’re still going forward, and that’s really impressive. No, we don’t have the record we want, and we don’t have some of these thing we want, but I think some of the things we’ve gone through probably would’ve broken a lot of other teams, but it’s kind of brought us together.”

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