On Friday, the Michigan volleyball team fell to Indiana at home. Riley Nieboer/Daily. Buy this photo.

At the end of the second set, audible tension rumbled through the arena as the score was tight at 22-24 and the No. 25 Michigan volleyball team led the match, 1-0. But then, a Wolverine service error forced an end to the set, giving Indiana the 25-22 win. 

Following the set loss, the Wolverines (13-6 overall, 4-5 Big Ten) were unable to regain their momentum, falling to the Hoosiers (11-10, 4-5) in four sets in a Pink-Out Game Friday night. 

“We knew tonight that Indiana was a team that was going to pose some challenges,” Michigan coach Mark Rosen said. “We did the best to prepare for it but they did a really nice job tonight.”

In the first set, the Wolverines got off to a slow start. They trailed seven points behind Indiana after a series of serve-receive errors, eventually forcing them to call a timeout. Michigan returned to the floor with more tenacity, starting with a kill by senior middle blocker Jess Robinson. The Wolverines continued on a seven-point run to tie the game at 15 apiece. After several more back-and-forth rallies, a strong blocking performance by freshman right-side hitter Serena Nyambio closed out the first set over the Hoosiers, 25-22.

Michigan opened the second set with a kill by junior outside hitter Kendall Murray. It kept a tight lead in the first half of the match, up 13-12. The Hoosiers fought back aggressively, creating separation from the Wolverines. As a result, Michigan fell victim to Indiana at the service line, ending the set down 22-25.

“Indiana came out and served really aggressively; they had a great game plan in terms of getting us in trouble,” Rosen said. “When we were in system I thought we handled it really well, but out of system is a different game and tonight they got us out of system a lot with that serve.”

In the third set, Michigan looked to regain its lead against Indiana but struggled to take complete control of the match. Despite a kill from senior middle blocker May Petrofsky to tie the score at ten, a series of hitting errors that followed cost the Wolverines the opportunity to take control of the match. Michigan fought back with a three-point run but couldn’t claw back, falling 19-25 and dropping the match score to 1-2.

In a do-or-die fourth set, the Wolverines worked to create a lead against the Hoosiers early. Spurring a four-point run powered by aggressive net play from junior outside hitter Jess Mruzik, Michigan jumped out to a 10-8 lead. In spite of its scrappiness and hard-fought rallies, Indiana capitalized on its forced errors. The Hoosiers followed with a three-point run to win the match, 25-23.

“I think just going into this match something that we focused on (was) not overlooking anybody,” Mruzik said. “And especially in the Big Ten this year it’s crazy, anyone can beat anybody on any given day. It’s a blessing that we get to be in a conference where every single night you’re going up against the best teams in the country.”

And with difficult Big Ten matchups upcoming, Michigan needs to hone-in to make sure that blessing doesn’t become a curse.