The IUPUI volleyball team opened Horizon League play Friday night with a loss to UIC by a score of 3-1. The Jaguars took the victory in the first set 25-20, then lost the last three sets 25-22, 28-26, and 25-16.
The first set was narrow up until the 11-11 score, when IUPUI went on a 6-0 scoring run to give the Jaguars a 17-11 lead. The Jaguars used that run for the rest of the set to give them the 25-20 victory. The Jaguars were led by the sophomore Maddie Dean and junior McKayla Wright, both with five kills in the set.
The second set started off the same as the first set, the score was close up until UIC went on a 4-0 scoring run to give the Flames a 15-13 edge in the middle of the set. The Jaguars kept the set close throughout, but the nine errors they committed to UIC’s three errors was the difference maker in the end. Senior Elizabeth Scott led the Jaguars in the second set with four kills.
“We were a little up and down in some of the sets,” Scott said. “We had good energy, and we were being scrappy getting the ball, so we just pull everybody together playing on all cylinders, we’ll figure it out.”
The third set, same as the previous two, was close throughout. Scott came up clutch for the Jaguars down the stretch, hammering home three straight aces to tie the game at 22. Errors killed the Jaguars for the last six points. They committed three crucial errors in the end gave UIC the 28-26 set win. The Jaguars were led by Senior Abby Boatman with four kills and Senior Elizabeth Scott with three kills.
“I thought we came out fighting a lot harder than we did in preseason,” Rebecca Schlechte said. “In preseason, I think we had a lot of mental issues that we needed to work out and I feel like we all came out tonight to play really hard. They had a couple of runs each game, and that was the difference.”
IUPUI came out flat in the fourth set, allowing UIC to open the set on a 7-1 run. The Jaguars weren’t willing to give up so easy and came back with a 7-2 run of their own to make the score 13-11,the closest they would get. UIC went on another 6-2 run that ended up being the difference maker in the 25-16 victory.
“Well I thought we started really strong and energetic, and I thought we were playing well,” Coach Steve Payne said. “It’s ok to lose that one second set, but the third set I thought we just kinda lost winners, and our momentum after we lost that extra point set. In set four, we came in kinda down and we weren’t ready to go.”
Scott led the way for the Jaguars with 12 kills, followed by McKayla Wright and Haley Hoffman both with 11. Dean led the way in blocks with 5. Schlechte led the way in assists with 48 and Rhiannon Schuenemann led the way in digs with 18.
IUPUI continues conference play with a home game on Saturday, Sept. 22 against Green Bay.