All good things must come to an end. The Michigan women’s volleyball team learned that the hard way this weekend, ending their seven-game winning steak with a five game loss to Indiana in Bloomington on Saturday night (30-27, 22-30, 30-18, 27-30, 12-15).
The Wolverines (1-1 Big Ten, 7-4 overall) looked poised to win the match at the start of the fourth stanza. They were up two games to one and had just dominated the third game. Michigan kept the fourth game close at the start, fighting to an 8-8 tie. But Indiana (1-1, 7-6) went on a 5-0 run from which the Wolverines never recovered. Several Michigan rallies fell short, and the Hoosiers maintained the lead for the remainder of the game, topping the Wolverines 30-27.
“We should have controlled game four,” Michigan coach Mark Rosen said. “Every time it seemed like we were going to come back and take control, we made a mistake.”
Despite the mistakes, Michigan still looked like they might bounce back in the final game. But, up 9-7 after a 0-5 start, the Wolverines’ comeback lost steam, and Indiana closed out the match on an 8-3 run.
“We played inconsistent all night,” senior Megan Knoebel said. “We just doomed ourselves in the end.”
At the beginning of the match, Michigan looked poised to continue its recent hot streak. But Indiana fought back. The Hoosiers tied the first game and took two brief leads. With the Hoosiers up 27-26, Indiana senior Rachel Gerling committed consecutive attack errors, and Michigan closed out the game 30-27.
The second frame started just like the first. Michigan took a 5-2 lead before Indiana came storming back. But this game quickly got out of hand, and the Wolverines dropped the frame 30-22 despite a late surge.
The third game was Michigan’s best of the night. After being tied 10-10, the Wolverines closed the game on a 20-8 run, highlighted by eight of sophomore Katie Bruzdzinski’s match- high 22 kills A– including six straight to close out the game.
“Indiana played much better defense than we did for pretty much the whole game” Rosen said. “The third game was the one exception.”
Though the team is upset with the loss and the end of its streak, Michigan has to move on. The Wolverines’ fifth and sixth consecutive road games are looming as they travel to Iowa on Friday night and play No. 5 Minnesota on Saturday night.
“I never really think of the season in streaks,” Rosen said. “We’ve got to take it one game at a time. We have had a long road stretch, but that’s what we were given. We lost one point in the Big Ten tonight, but we have to move on and look to our next game.”