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IU Kokomo cruises to 5-0

IUK Volleyball is atop its division and rolling

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UNDEFEATED — The Cougars debuted their new Student Activities and Events Center on Friday night to host University of Rio Grande. IUK played for a home crowd as each player and coach (only of the home team) could bring two people to watch in person.

It was a pair of strong wins that carried the Cougars to 5-0 this weekend. Home openers have been friendly to IUK, and this made three home-opening sweeps in a row.

The Cougars totaled 40 kills behind freshman Lorelei Porter (10), sophomore Sidney Gerig (8), and junior Lizzie Sokeland (6).

Rio Grande was on the receiving end of the 25-12, 25-18, 25-23 sweep on Friday night in the brand-new Student Activities and Events Center.

No fans were allowed to witness in person, but online streaming was available to those still wanting to catch the match.

Although, according to the updated IU Kokomo spectator policy, volleyball would allow two people in per player or coach for the home team only, with a maximum of 50 people. Masks are required by the River States Conference.

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“It was great to get the first win in the facility in front of a home crowd,” said Head Coach Heather Hayes on Friday night. “We are excited to return back to the court tomorrow and do it all again."

Saturday brought more success, as the Cougars took three straight after dropping the opener against West Virginia Institute of Technology to win 3-1. The games went 19-25, 25-17, 25-10, and 25-16. Porter led the Cougars again with 15 kills.

Hayes said, despite both wins, the team can’t get complacent.

“Having been one of the stronger teams in the conference the last few years, we get every team’s best effort out the gate,” she said. “We talk to our team about being prepared for teams to come out swinging against us. I think we could still do a better job of being more mentally prepared for that, but I’m very happy with how we responded after that first-set loss."

The Cougars are 4-0 in the River States Conference.

IU Kokomo hosts Brescia on Friday at 7 p.m.