SIOUX CITY, Iowa – Indiana Wesleyan University volleyball took the top-seed of Pool G and No.7-ranked Park (Mo.) to a decisive fifth set at the 2017 NAIA Women’s Volleyball National Championship presented by Delta Hotels. The near upset was squashed with a 15-12 Pirates win in the fifth set but builds the Wildcats’ confidence for the rest of pool play competition.
- Score: Indiana Wesleyan – 2 | Park – 3
- Set 1: IWU 25-21
- Set 2: PU 25-15
- Set 3: PU 25-23
- Set 4: IWU 25-21
- Set 5: PU 15-12
- Records: Indiana Wesleyan 28-11 (0-1 Pool G) | Park 30-3 (1-0 Pool G)
- NAIA Top- 25 Rank: Indiana Wesleyan – Receiving votes | Park – No. 7
- Location: Tyson Events Center | Sioux City, Iowa
- Katie Cole: 36 assists, 16 digs
- Tay Thomas: 19 kills
- Anne Fong: 21 digs
- Kelly Miller: 10 kills, 12 digs, 2 block assists
- Emily Workman: 27 assists, 8 digs, 1 ace
- Abigail Rutt: 19 digs, 2 aces
- Morgan Miller: 11 kills, 5 digs, 2 block assists
- Marci Miller: 17 kills
- Banner Rodgers: 28 digs, 4 aces
- The Wildcats built a 5-1 advantage to begin the fifth set. But the Pirates stormed back with 14 of the final 21 points for the 15-12 victory.
- Indiana Wesleyan has won at least one set against the top team in the pool at the NAIA National Championship in five of the six seasons in Sioux City. Park is the top-seed in Pool G with recent success at the national championship with a title win in 2014 and a semifinal appearance last season.
- Tay Thomas set a new career-high with 19 kills and tied Morgan Miller for most kills in a match this season. Katie Cole set a new personal best with 36 assists.
- The Wildcats set new match-highs for this season in kills (72), assists (71), and digs (121).
COACH MOATS SAYS…
- On the team’s effort vs. #7 Park…
“There is a different mindset this year. Coming into this tournament, we are so relaxed and we have this synergy about us with people before points. We have said that all year and it is showing. We are playing for each other and working as hard as we can and we have an attitude of believing. The passion for coming to this tournament is really awesome and I am just loving it.”
- How this match affects the team going forward…
“This match will give us a confidence for the rest of the tournament. We’ll have that underdog mentality because we are the fourth seed in the pool and every match we’re not supposed to win. It’s still going to be that same passion but we have more confidence after today’s match.”
- On the right side hitters’ performance today…
“All year it’s been the right sides with Marci and Tay and Morgan. It has been a really grand effort for all of those people. Marci really grew up this year and to be where she is now performing at the national championship is a testament to her character and work ethic. I am so proud of her.”
UP NEXT FOR VOLLEYBALL
- Indiana Wesleyan continues play in Pool G on Wednesday. IWU battles No. 10 Corban (Ore.) at 5 p.m. ET.