Dec. 4, 2010

Courtesy of Indiana Athletics

Indiana Volleyball (22-11) survived a five-set dandy (19-25, 25-18, 25-13, 20-25, 15-9) Friday night inside University Gym, and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament with a victory over the Miami Hurricanes (23-9). The Hoosiers will host the second round as well, welcoming in 11th-seeded Tennessee (25-6) for a 3 pm Saturday afternoon showdown.

On Friday, senior All-American Ashley Benson was a dominating force. The Bloomington, Ind., native buried 25 kills at a .564 pace (25-3-39) and posted six total blocks (one solo) to lead all players with 28.5 points. Jordan Haverly joined her for the post-match press conference, thanks to another double-double performance (21 kills and 17 digs).

Defensively, Caitlin Cox and Kelci Marschall were the statistical leaders. Cox dug up a match-high 23 balls while Marschall rejected eight blocks on the night.

The opening two sets were split with Miami seizing the first, 25-19, followed by an IU winner in set number two, 25-18. There were four lead changes in the first 21 points of the second stanza alone as the action went back and forth. Indiana grabbed the lead for good at 11-10 though, owning an edge the rest of the frame.

The good times continued to roll to start the third set. Cox set up camp on the baseline to start set number three with 10 consecutive serves as the Hoosiers jumped out to a 9-0 advantage. Indiana's biggest lead expanded to a 13-point gap at 22-9 following back-to-back kills by Ivie Obeime. Benson was down right ridiculous in the 25-20 winning tally, putting away seven of nine errorless swings. Freshman Caitlin Hansen was also key in taking the set, contributing five digs to the effort.

Miami regrouped quickly in the subsequent set, never trailing en route to a 25-20 final score to force a fifth set.

Senior captain Taylor Wittmer stepped it up in the fifth and final set. She was responsible for four Hoosier points, posting two kills, a solo block and two block assists. Haverly lit the scoreboard four times as well, terminating four attacks for kills. In fitting fashion, Benson put the icing on the cake by crushing her 25th kill of the night for the match-clinching 15th point of the set.

This marks the third time in school history Indiana has made it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Saturday's second round match vs. Tennessee begins at 3 pm and can be viewed right here at Check out the Tournament Central Page below and a link to the live video stream will be posted before match time.