November 10, 2016 Ryan Gregory
On Nov. 3, IUPUI took on the South Dakota Coyotes in the Jungle. The Jaguars were defeated in straight sets. Going into the game, IUPUI had a 7-5 conference record, fourth best in the conference. South Dakota came into the game hot, posting a 22-5 overall record. In conference, the Coyotes were 10-2, tied for best in the conference. The Jaguars undoubtedly had their work cut out for them with this formidable opponent. The Jaguars refused to roll over against this conference power, however. The match was close in every set of the match. Twice the score surpassed 25 points before the set finally was punctuated by USD. The Jaguars played some gutsy volleyball, making things tough for the Coyotes.
The first set was a rollercoaster of scoring, there were highs and there were lows. It began with a high for South Dakota, jumping out to a quick 1-4 lead thanks to some early jitters from the Jaguars. IUPUI shook their nerves off in no time, and brought the game back to a 5-6 score. From there, the two teams traded kills, and in turn traded the lead. IUPUI managed to secure a lead in the latter half of the set. At match point, IUPUI led 24-23. South Dakota proceeded to score three in a row, stealing the set from the Jaguars by a score
The Jaguars, undaunted by the unfortunate ending of the first set, came out firing in the second. Kori Waelbroeck and Gabby Fisher dominated the stat sheet in the second set, securing kill after kill on the Coyotes defense. This match was a battle through the first ten points. With the game knotted up at 10, South Dakota rattled off four points in a row. This would prove insurmountable for the Jaguars. Try as they might, they could not come back from the deficit. South Dakota won the second set 20-25. Despite the score, Jaguar outside hitter Gabby Fisher went off, scoring most of her 10 kills in the second set.
After the break, the third set began. IUPUI was visibly rattled from losing two close matches. They made mistakes that were absent through the first two sets. The Coyotes jumped out to a 4-10 lead early. Then IUPUI caught the fire reminiscent of the first two sets. They clawed their way back, tying the game at 15. The two teams traded a few points until IUPUI scored two in a row, making it a 21-19 lead. To answer, South Dakota scored three in a row to take a 21-22 lead. After a few long rallies with some outstanding digs by both teams, IUPUI tied the game at 24. Just as it looked as though the Jaguars would send the match to a fourth set, the Coyotes scored two unanswered points, effectively ending both the set and the match.
Statistical leaders for the evening were Kori Waelbroeck with 14 kills, Abby Boatman, Kori Waelbroeck, and Logan Walling each with three blocks, Alexis Mapes with 33 assists, and 14 digs by both Elizabeth Scott and Jessica Helms.
Looking forward to Nov. 5, the Jaguars will take on the North Dakota State Bison in their last home conference game. As it is the last home game, seniors Alexis Mapes, Logan Walling, and Abby Horn will be honored for senior night. North Dakota State enters the game with a 11-16 record. Their conference record is another story, however, an upper echelon 9-4. IUPUI sits at fifth in the conference currently. They are in desperate need of conference wins to secure their place in the Summit Tournament, as only the top six teams get in. NDSU enters the game on a hot four game winning streak. On the wrong end of a streak, IUPUI has dropped three straight. The Jaguars look to not only break this streak, but also that of their opponent.