IUPUI women's volleyball early season recap

<p>Grace Purichia, Emily Alan, and Maia Long Celebrate</p><p></p>

Grace Purichia, Emily Alan, and Maia Long Celebrate

IUPUI’s volleyball team starts the season with six wins and five losses thus far. Despite starting with a lead in their first few games, the Jags fell hard at the Coyote Classics losing 3-0 to South Florida, South Dakota and Drake. They made a comeback winning 3-1 to Southern Indiana and continued the streak beating Indiana State 3-1.

The girls volleyball team opened their season with a 3-2 win against Eastern Michigan on Aug. 25 with a total of 60 kills against EMU’s 51 and 184 attempts against EMU’s 158. That same weekend, the team closed out the invite defeating SIUE 3-2 and a loss to Bradley finishing 2-1.

From Aug. 31 through Sept. 2. They had three games where they won 3-2 against UC Riverside on Aug. 31, defeated Oral Roberts 3-0 on Sep. 1 and finished the weekend losing 3-1 against Eastern Illinois. 

Sept. 7 was the start of the Coyote Classic and a weekend of hard losses for the Jags. The weekend started with a 3-0 loss to South Florida. During the first set South Florida won 25-17, while the Jags kept it close during the second set, South Florida came out on top 26-24, and they closed the game with a 25-15 win over the IUPUI in the third set. Despite the losses, IUPUI still overtook South Florida in attempts with 83 attempts to South Florida’s 76. Although their number of errors was more than double South Florida’s with 26 errors from IUPUI and 10 from South Florida.

On Sept. 8, IUPUI lost to both South Dakota and Drake, making their current season record 4-5. During their first game of the weekend against South Dakota, IUPUI had 31 kills to South Dakota’s 29, 87 attempts to South Dakota’s 69 and 29 assists to South Dakota’s 24. Both freshmen Maia Long and Ava Harris had seven kills while freshmen Grace Purichia and Kate White added five more to their total. However, what really pulled them down was their 21 errors compared to South Dakota’s nine. In the first set South Dakota won 25-12, they also took the second and third sets with scores 25-17 and 25-18.

They didn’t fare much better in the second game against Drake. During the first set Drake won 25-12, although the second set was a close call, Drake ended up taking it 26-24 and took the final set with a winning score of 25-19. Once again, the number of errors is what really did the team in with 20 errors to Drake’s nine. However, Harris got 13 kills during this game and senior Emily Alan made five kills and two blocks.

After three major losses, they made a comeback winning 3-1 against Southern Indiana on Sept. 13. They had a slow start losing the first set 25-22, but they made a comeback in the second and third sets winning both 25-17. In the final set they finished out the night winning 25-23. Harris got 16 of IUPUI’s total 55 kills during the game with freshman Kate White getting another 10 of her own. Freshman Morgan Ostorwski got a match and season-high of five total blocks during the game while also making nine kills of her own.

When speaking with assistant coach Rebekah Strange, she commented on the season thus far and her thoughts on where the team may be heading.

“Compared to last year, I think that we have a different mindset going into, at least, conference play. We’re 5-5 right now which is pretty good for a pre-season record. We’ve played a lot of tough teams. We were in South Dakota last weekend, and we had some really tough opponents. They really gave us a run for our money, but I think we were able to play with them,” Strange said. “I’m really excited to see how what we have done in the pre-season translates into what we can do in conference play.”

In regards to the rest of the season and overall season goals, Strange says that making conference and building team culture are their main goals.

“Our main goal is to make the conference tournament. I think, because we have six or seven new freshmen, it’s a whole new team culture. We are slowly starting to build that culture right now. Pre-season was just a way for us to bond and build it. I think as we keep playing and practicing with one another, that culture is going to build, which is the second goal behind making the conference tournament,” Strange said.

Following the interview on Sept. 15, the team went to Indiana State and competed winning 3-1 making their season streak 6-5 with 59 kills and 52 assists during the game. The Jags will be facing Cleveland State at home on Sept. 19 and Milwaukee on the road on Sept. 22.

Abigail Godsen (she/her) is a sophomore majoring in Applied Information Sciences with a minor in Classics. She is a reporter, podcast co-host and Copy Editor for The Campus Citizen. When she isn’t writing, Abby likes to cook, do crossword puzzles and drink a lot of tea. She can be summoned using tea, cardigans and books (according to her roommate Jackie).

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