Taylor Knocks Off RV Marian
UPLAND, Ind. – The Taylor volleyball squad (10-12, 5-6 CL) took down conference opponent RV Marian in a five-set thriller at Odle Arena on Wednesday. The victory for the Trojans ended the Knights’ 15-match win streak.
The opening set saw Marian (18-4, 9-2 CL) jump out to a hot start in the evening match. The Knights grabbed the lead at 9-8 and never looked back. Taylor struggled to get its offense going, hitting nine attack errors in the first set.
The Trojans’ continued to fight from behind in the following set, as errors plagued the team once again. As the set progressed, TU bounced back with a six-point run, finding its stroke on the attack. Kills came flying in from multiple hitters during its run, including two from Nicki Sechrist and one from Addy Bailey and Ryan Czerniak. Bailey finished the set for Taylor, grabbing a kill for the squad’s 25th point.
Marian led for the majority of the third set, maintaining at least a three-point advantage until set point. With the score resting at 24-18, Taylor stormed back, taking advantage of attack errors from the Knights. Evening the score at 24-24, TU had a chance to steal the set but Marian vanquished the comeback effort with a pair of kills.
Taylor came out determined to extend the match to a fifth set. Logging an early 9-4 lead, the TU squad would not be denied. Sechrist slammed five kills in the fourth set, helping Taylor force a fifth and final set.
The battle proved to be a nail-biter, as the teams fought evenly to land at a 10-10 tie. A pair of kills from Amanda Adams pushed TU forward but the team gave up a point in return. With the score at 12-11, the Taylor defense stepped up with three-consecutive blocks to complete the upset.
TU put together a strong effort defensively and offensively to take down the surging Knights. 64 kills for Taylor outpaced the Marian offense by 13 kills on the night. The Purple and Gold also relied heavily on their stout defense. The team notched 15 more digs than Marian, pulling in 77 digs over the five sets. Taylor also nabbed 14 total blocks, outpacing the top blocking team in the Crossroads League.
Senior captain Haley Harrell orchestrated the offense with a magnificent season-high 53 assists, averaging over 10 assists per set. The setter also scooped up 21 digs, collecting her fourth 20-dig effort on the season.
Three different Trojans landed double-digit kills in the Wednesday night contest. Sechrist notched a career high 18 kills, Adams logged her 15th double-digit kill effort with 14, and Bailey added 13 kills to go along with a .381 hitting percentage.
Taylor’s libero Samantha Korn flew around the court, seemingly picking up every Marian attack. The junior pulled in 25 digs, marking her 16th-consecutive double-digit dig effort.
At the net, Julia Pomerenke was a wall, gathering seven block assists and a solo block. The middle hitter had a part in each of the final three blocks to put away the match for the Trojans.
TU will return to action against Grace (15-7, 7-3 CL) on Friday at 7:00 pm in Winona Lake.