With five victories over and losses to Penn State and the undefeated Wisconsin and Nebraska, the Hoosiers are currently in fourth place in the standings. Indiana will play a pivotal match on Wednesday, at 19:00 local time (23:00 UTC), on the road against in-state rivals Purdue, who are fifth with the same five wins and three losses – the encounter will be streamed live for VBTV subscribers around the world.
Their promising start of the season can be, at least in part, credited to their strong serving as Indiana currently leads the Big Ten in aces (138) and aces per set (1.92), improving from their 1.77 average of 2022 and having an impressive 22 aces more than second-placed Iowa.
“We’re at times very, very high risk-reward from the end line, but my philosophy is that I want to set the tone,” Aird said. “I want it to be kind of the characteristic or the trait of our program is to be very aggressive from the end line. I think also we're not as good as some of the teams that we’re playing, so we have to be a little bit more high error, high risk from the end line. What’s happening now, though, is that those players that are pretty high error are becoming more skilled, more mature, more inside their game, and I would expect or hope that we will be one of the best serving teams in the Big Ten if not the country.”