If you weren’t at The Jungle on Oct. 18, you truly missed out. The Jaguars Women’s volleyball team was the epitome of the word persistence. After losing the first two sets to the Mastodons, game three looked daunting and hopeless. Through an outstanding spectacle of grit and effort, the Jaguars fought their way, eventually winning 3 sets to 2.
At the beginning of the match, both teams came out sloppy and drowsy. Both teams were handing free points back and forth with silly mistakes. Countless hits got caught in the net, and a lack of communication caused dysfunction for both squads. When the score reached 15-10 in favor of IUPUI, the IPFW coach had enough and whistled for a timeout. The timeout paid immediate dividends for the Mastodons, as they immediately scored two powerful points off of a kill and a block. IPFW played well for a few points, until IUPUI stepped up their kills.
The Jaguars scored kill after kill on the helpless IPFW defense. A timeout stifled their run of kills, with IUPUI clinging to a 23-21 lead. The two teams returned to their trading of points, going beyond 25 points. Eventually, a block went awry off of an IUPUI player’s fingers, resulting in a 27-25 win of set one for IPFW.
IUPUI seemed rattled early in game two, making more mental mistakes after they had seemingly calmed down. Eventually the Jaguars settled back into their groove and began digging into the deficit. The IUPUI coach called timeout with the team down 14-17. IUPUI came out with a focus following the timeout, scoring an ace and killing ball after ball. The score was evened at 20-20 when IUPUI returned to their mistakes, sending balls sailing out of bounds. IUPUI lost set two as well, by a score of 25-23.
Set number three did not start well for the Jaguars. The match began with 5 unanswered points from IPFW, followed by two mistakes which gave IUPUI a breath of life. That breath of life was just what they needed. IUPUI knotted the game up at 15, then proceeded to take a 19-17 lead before the IPFW finally called a timeout. IUPUI flexed their muscles for the final ten points, scoring more kills than Michael Myers did in Halloween. IUPUI kept the match alive, winning 25-22.
The Jaguars continued their momentum into the fourth set, jumping to an early 7-5 lead. The two teams then returned to their point trading ways. The score was tied for a majority of the set. A crucial kill by IUPUI’s Elizabeth Scott and a costly mistake by an IPFW player gave IUPUI a 23-21 lead that they would not relinquish. The Jaguars sent the game into a final set with a 25-23 win.
The last set was dominated by IUPUI’s Kori Waelbroeck and Logan Walling. The duo scored kill after kill, refusing to let the dream of the comeback die. The Jaguars jumped to an 8-2 lead behind their abundance of kills. IPFW battled, and with a kill that resounded throughout the gym, narrowed the game to 11-7. The Mastodons would not score again. IUPUI began spanking the ball onto the hardwood again. The last point was scored off of a block. The final score showed on the scoreboard, a 15-7 win.
Against all odds, IUPUI had emerged victorious in a match they had trailed 2-0. How did the Jaguars rally from such a deficit? “We all came together as a team, collected ourselves, and told each other that we could win this match. I said that I believed in each and every one of my teammates and that we could do this. We knew that coming back and winning wasn’t going to just happen; we had to make it happen on our own,” Junior Kori Waelbroeck said.
Next up for the Jaguars is a conference matchup with Omaha on Oct. 21. A huge conference win should carry some momentum into the upcoming match. “I think this is a great energy that we can use on Friday to help us beat Omaha,” Senior Logan Walling said. IUPUI is currently 5-3 in conference, and looks to tally another in the win column against Omaha.