After coming off a hard fought loss to Bradley University the Indiana State volleyball team is looking to rebound this weekend as they host Loyola University of Chicago. The Sycamores have a lot to prove as they have lost the last two meetings with Loyola. This weekend, the Loyola Chicago Wolves come into Terre Haute with a 60 percent win percentage.
Offensively, the Sycamores have been balanced as they have four players on the roster with over 100 kills. Nikki White, a 6-foot-1 junior leads the Sycamores with 106 kills thus far this season. Defensively, Indiana State will have to be on their toes as Loyola’s offense is dangerous. Redshirt senior Kassie Cawa leads the Sycamores defensively with 35 blocks on the season.
“Loyola does a really nice job on the offensive standpoint that is what is correlating to their success,” said Indiana State Head Volleyball Coach Lindsey Allman. “So our defensive pursuit that we have had has to show up. But we also know that the offensive pieces are what is going to win us a match.”
Loyola has a total of 730 kills this season. Its last game was against Drake University, a 3-1 victory. They had a total of 16 team blocks. Taylor Venuto, a 6-foot-1 freshman, is averaging the most kills per set with three. Redshirt senior Maddy Moser is leading Loyola defensively, as she averages five digs a set and 253 total on the season. Loyola is coming off a pair of victories with a lot of momentum while Indiana State is looking to bounce back from a few conference losses.
“It’s about learning how to respond and show back up that next night and keep it going,” Allman said about importance of winning a conference game coming off of a loss.
Indiana State’s volleyball team is young, as they have four freshmen that play, along with two sophomores. The Sycamores have played a tough stretch thus far and a win against Loyola can give them a boost of momentum they need going further into the season. The game will take place at the ISU arena this Friday at 6 p.m.
The next day they will be hosting a 5-11 Valparaiso team. Valpo is offensively led by junior Peyton McCarthy, who has 160 total kills this season. Defensively Valparaiso is led by junior Rylee Cookerly who 4.6 digs per set. Indiana state will use its home arena to their advantage against the Valparaiso Crusaders as they struggle on the road with a record of 1-4.
The Crusaders will be coming off a conference game against Evansville when they head into Terre Haute. A conference win will be just as important for them because they are winless in Missouri Valley Conference play, just like Indiana State. So both teams will be looking to come out on top. Their game will be played this Saturday at 5 p.m.