CEDARVILLE, Ohio – Sophomores Maya Learmonth and Hannah Worsham, along with freshman Taylor Weber combined for 41 kills, but the Anderson University volleyball team opened the season by falling to Indianapolis, 3-1 (19-25, 22-25, 26-24, 18-25) at the Cedarville Yellow Jacket Invite, Friday afternoon at the Callan Athletic Center.
"UIndy played a very strong match and earned the victory, but we have a lot of positives to build on going forward," said Anderson head coach Todd Hay. "Our offense was clicking and put up numbers that are ahead of where we finished last fall. That was encouraging. We struggled a bit in serve-receive and our serving wasn't as sharp as it was during our exhibitions, but these are things that should work themselves out with more experience for our new back line. We will need a very strong effort against a tall and athletic Cedarville team. They are aggressive with their serving, run a lot of back row attacks and play with a lot of heart. It should be a great atmosphere."
Anderson fell to 0-1, while UIndy improved to 1-0.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
Learmonth led all players with a career-high 18 kills and added a pair of solo blocks, while Weber added 12 kills in her collegiate debut. Worsham posted a career-high 11 kills, while committing just two attack errors for an impressive .562 hitting percentage. The Orlando, Fla., native also notched four block assists. Senior setter Emily Conlin handed out a match-high 47 assists, with freshman Lindsay McCurley recording 11 digs. Sophomore libero Meghan DeVaux tallied 10 digs.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Trojans were hot out of the gate, as they scored the first six points of the contest behind Conlin's strong serves. But the Greyhounds countered with seven unanswered points of their own to claim an early 7-6 lead.
The score was knotted three more times before UIndy capitalized on back-to-back-to-back errors by the Trojans to claim a 12-9 edge. Weber sandwiched a pair of her five opening-set kills around another Trojan miscue to pull AU within two and a solo block by Learmonth, followed by an ace from McCurley, knotted the score for the fifth and final time, at 13 apiece.
The Greyhounds then scored three straight to take a lead they would not surrender and pulled away late for the six-point win.
The second frame saw four early ties before UIndy used an 8-2 outburst to claim a 13-7 advantage. The Black and Gold chipped away and climbed within two on four occasions before posting a 6-2 surge that finally evened the score at 20-20.
But the Trojans were unable to wrestle the lead away from UIndy, as the Greyhounds responded with two consecutive points and held off AU down the stretch.
The Trojans broke through in the third set, as they posted a .432 attack percentage. After five early ties, Weber snapped a 7-7 deadlock with her ninth kill of the day and Learmonth fueled an 8-1 surge with three more kills, as the Trojans doubled up the Greyhounds, at 16-8.
UIndy stayed within striking distance and overcame a late 23-20 lead by the Trojans to knot the score at 24-24, before Learmonth knocked down back-to-back kills to secure the victory.
The Greyhounds used four unanswered points to snap a 5-5 deadlock before senior Hailee Wilhelm sparked a 4-0 run with a kill and AU evened the score at nine apiece.
Following four more ties, the Greyhounds closed the set by rattling off a 10-3 outburst to earn the win.
STAT OF THE GAME
The Trojans committed 26 attack errors and 10 service errors.
• The Trojans met UIndy in the season opener for the second straight year.
• The Greyhounds avenged last season's loss to AU.
• AU fell to 1-1 all-time against the Greyhounds.
• Anderson suffered its first season-opening loss since the 2013 campaign.
Anderson will get back on the court quickly, as the Trojans are slated to square off against the host Yellow Jackets, Friday night at 7:30 p.m.