This weekend, the IUPUI volleyball team did more than fight for wins. They showed support for those fighting harder battles. The Jaguars took advantage of a two-game home stand to show their support for both those battling breast cancer and women who have been the victims of domestic violence.
The Jaguars started the weekend by honoring breast cancer fighter Gloria Nunez in the annual Dig-Pink game versus the Wright State on Friday. The Jaguars donned pink ribbons to recognize the fight against women’s stage-four/metastatic breast cancer.
In the first set, the Jags kept it within four points the entire match, eventually losing 21-25 despite a late rally led by great efforts from junior McKayla Wright, who recorded eight digs and eight kills on the night. The Jags took the second set 25-23 with a combined team effort led by Maggie Gibson, who was just one dig short of a triple-double on the evening with 12 kills, 16 assist, nine digs, two blocks, and two aces. The Jags rally efforts were truncated in the third set, despite the defensive efforts by Abby Boatman. The Jags led 17-16 in the fourth set before giving up a 1-4 run and losing the match 21-25 in Maggie Gibson’s high impact last ditch efforts. Rhiannon Schuenemann recorded the most digs in the Dig-Pink affair with 19.
The following day, the Jags swapped their pink ribbons for purple ones to show support for victims of domestic violence in another conference match up, this time against the Northern Kentucky Norse.
The Jags took set-one 25-22 behind Maggie Gibson’s 10 points scored. The Jags were stunned in the second set, trailing 11-14, when a questionable in-the-net call foiled Coach Steve Payne’s plan to rally. Rebecca Schlechte and Rachel Hickey combined for two aces late to bring the Jags to a 21-21 standoff but were thwarted by the equal reprisal of the Norse’s Haley Libs to outpace the Jags 25-22 with equally stellar game play. The third set was a 23-25 shortcoming despite freshman Hannah Oehlberg generating momentum both early and late in the match with clutch kills. The fourth set was a disappointing walk-off at 14-25.
“We knew [Northern Kentucky] was going to tip the ball on us, so we set up our defense to do that, and we readjust as the match goes on; and each set differently,” head coach Steve Payne said. “We go on to Green Bay now, who is tied for first place. We’ve already played them once, so we see what they did against us last time and change up what we did against them.”
The Jags are on the road for much of the remainder of the month, returning home Wednesday, Oct. 31 against conference foe Cleveland State.