Taylor Challenges No. 7 IWU, Unable to Complete Upset
UPLAND, Ind. – The Taylor Trojans (2-6, 2-5 CL) and seventh-ranked Indiana Wesleyan Wildcats (6-1, 6-1 CL) met in Odle Arena on Saturday afternoon, facing off for the first time this season. IWU staved off a relentless TU attack in a 29-27, 25-13, 25-23 win for the visitors.
TU trailed early in set number one but managed the deficit to stay within range. At 22-18, the Purple and Gold rebounded with a 7-3 run which featured four kills from four different Trojans. The two teams went back and forth beyond the normal 25-point cap, as TU collected a total of 17 kills with a .324 hitting percentage in the set. Taylor earned three set-point opportunities but could not overcome, falling 29-27.
The largest lead for the Trojans came in the third set, as the team scored the first four points and pushed forward for a six-point advantage. Grace Isaacs sparked the hot start with a kill and a block for TU’s first two points. Both teams continued to battle in the set and with the game in balance at 23-23, the Wildcats found a way to close it out for the match victory.
Isaacs put together another efficient performance with 11 kills and a .333 hitting percentage, as she ranks fourth in the Crossroads League with a .317 hitting percentage on the year. The impressive kill count marked the sixth double-digit kill outing of the season for the senior.
The Trojans have had to rely on young talent in 2020, as five freshmen and sophomores were featured in the starting lineup or as the libero on Saturday. Kacy Bragg led the group with five kills and 26 assists from the setter position. Sophomore libero Erin Peugh paced the squad in her sixth double-digit dig performance with 10 digs.
Tying the team-high on the day, Amanda Adams landed 11 kills to extend her streak to seven matches with at least 10 kills. The outside hitter was a dominant force in the opening set, offering seven kills.
TU will be back in action on Tuesday, taking on Mount Vernon Nazarene (3-3, 3-3 CL) in Odle Arena at 7:00 pm.