Taylor Suffer First Loss of CL Season in Five Sets
FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Wednesday evening marked the first loss of the Crossroads League season for the No. 19 Taylor volleyball team (15-4, 4-1 CL), who fell in five sets to Saint Francis (10-7, 4-1 CL) on the road.
After winning 14-consecutive sets throughout their last five match wins, the Trojans dropped Wednesday’s first set by a score of 26-24. As the final set score lets on, play was fiercely competitive throughout the opening set as neither team led by more than three points.
Two strategic Taylor timeouts set the stage for two different 3-0 Trojan runs in the first set, the second of which ballooned into a six-point run that set the score to 24-21. At that point, however, the Cougars scratched back with a 5-0 run to steal the first set 26-24.
The second set followed a totally different script. Taylor took advantage of seven Saint Francis errors and an explosive offensive attack led by Ryan Czerniak and Jaylynn Dunsmore, nurturing a 14-point lead that resulted in a 13-point set win.
Taylor, then, backed up its impressive set-two play with a 25-17 third-set win, backed in large part by Dunsmore and Arlanda Faulkner who helped nurture a 19-13 Trojan lead before closing the set with an eight-point edge over the Cougars.
Set four of the match, however, resumed the fiercely competitive play of set one, as Saint Francis worked an 18-13 lead before Taylor fought back to even the score at 21. Though, three Trojan errors down the stretch helped pave the way for the Cougars to even the match at two sets apiece.
And, as is so often the case, the fifth set favored the home team, as Saint Francis morphed an early 4-0 lead into a 15-9 set win that sealed the deal for Taylor’s first loss thus far in the 2022 Crossroads League season.
Three Trojans posted double-digit kill numbers, with Czerniak leading the way with 14, followed by Dunsmore and Faulkner with 13 and 11 each.
Setting this Trojan trio up throughout the match was none other than Kacy Bragg, who totaled 45 assists throughout the night and moved into seventh all-time in program history with 3,482-career assists. Bragg now sits just 36 assists behind ’94 TU grad, Kristi Bagley, for sixth all-time in program history.
Meanwhile, on defense, freshman libero, McKaylah Flagle, posted her second 20-plus dig performance of the season, while Anna Frey contributed 14 more alongside 11 digs executed by Nikki Parrett.
No. 19 Taylor (15-4, 4-1 CL) will look to re-enter the win column on Friday, September 23, when they travel to Huntington to take on the Foresters at 7:00 pm.