NEW ALBANY – A balanced attack helped host IU Southeast to a 25-13, 25-16, 25-16 season-opening sweep of Oakland City in a River States Conference match Thursday night.
Jeffersonville graduate Alexis Bassett led the Grenadiers with eight kills while Jennie Malone and Delaney Nichols added seven apiece and Emilee Organ contributed six.
IUS jumped out to a 10-6 lead in the first set, then used a 10-1 run to put the frame out of reach. Malone recorded three kills during that stretch and the Grenadiers were aided by four Mighty Oaks attack errors. The Grenadiers held Oakland City to just two kills in the first set.
In the second set, the two teams battled back-and-forth before IUS edged ahead 10-6. The Grenadiers then went on a 10-4 run sparked by Nichols and Organ, who combined for five points in that span, before Bassett put the set away with a kill.
In the third set IUS bolted to a 7-2 lead before Oakland City cut it to 9-6. The Grenadiers answered by scoring 12 of the next 17 points to take a 21-11 lead. Organ recorded four of her six kills in the final set and ended her first collegiate match with the winning kill.
The Grenadiers had nine aces in the match with Kenna Burman tallying three. The senior also added 13 digs while Santina Schembra notched a team-best 14.
IUS (1-0, 1-0) will host Asbury (Ky.) at 7 p.m. Sept. 25.
IUS 3, OAKLAND CITY 0
Oakland City 13 16 16
IU Southeast 25 25 25
Kills: Alexis Bassett 8, Jennie Malone 7, Delaney Nichols 7, Emilee Organ 6, Hannah Sipe 4.
Blocks: Bassett 2, Izzy Stallard 2.
Assists: Sipe 27.
Aces: Kenna Burman 3, Sipe 2, Santina Schembra 2.
Digs: Schembra 14, Burman 13, Kaylee Newsom 8, Organ 6.
IUS TO BEGIN ALLOWING FANS
Although IUS didn’t allow spectators at its season-opener Thursday, it will beginning with its next home match — Sept. 25 — the school announced Friday.
Following “a comprehensive review of IU Southeast Athletics’ COVID-19-related policies and procedures, and after the successful completion of Thursday’s Oakland City-IU Southeast volleyball match,” the school will allow entry to two family members of each student-athlete of both participating teams with attendance capped at 200, according to a press release.
Those in attendance will be required to wear masks at all times and could be subject to random, or required, health screenings before entering the Activities Building. Social-distancing will be required at all times and any spectator “not complying 100 percent with the requirements will be asked to leave campus immediately,” according to the release.
“As stated previously, our original spectator policy pertained to the beginning of volleyball season,” IUS athletic director Joe Glover said in a statement. “Our student-athletes’ health and safety is our top priority and we wanted to use the first volleyball contest to ensure our policies and game-day procedures were effective before allowing fans into our building. I am happy to say Thursday’s contest was successful both on the court and in terms of our mitigation and safety measures. I look forward to seeing the parents of our volleyball student-athletes on campus next Friday for our next home match.”
No concessions or refreshments will be sold and no external food or drink will be permitted, other than bottled water.