SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Behind a season-high 14 kills from Julie Brown, IU South Bend volleyball knocked off the defending CCAC regular season and tournament champions in Olivet Nazarene on Tuesday night, sweeping the Tigers 25-14, 25-19, 25-20.
In their first matchup since last season’s CCAC Tournament semifinal, where the Titans fell in five sets, IUSB came out quick and never looked back. Opening a 14-4 lead to start the opening set, the Titans (4-1, 2-0 CCAC) only trailed for one point throughout the entire match. ONU (3-3, 1-1 CCAC) would score five straight to close the gap to 15-10, but kills from Brown and Amber Jacobs, along with a service ace from Suriya Van der Oord put the home team back up by ten, 20-10. McKenzie Powell gave her team set point with a kill at 24-14 en route to the first-set victory.
The Tigers would take their only lead in the second set, scoring the first point before IUSB came back with three in a row to move back in front. Abby Seeger’s kill at 10-5 quickly doubled up ONU, but the Tigers responded again, using a 5-1 rally to even the score at 15-15. Four consecutive errors gave the lead back to the Titans however, and IU South Bend would take the set by closing on a 4-1 run.
Kills from Brown and Powell got the Titans off to a 4-1 start in game three, and IUSB would remain in front the rest of the way. Olivet Nazarene would pull to within a point of tying the game, but at 11-10 Brown would collect another kill to avoid evening the score. The Tigers scored four straight to make it a 16-15 later in the set, but a pair of kills from reigning CCAC Attacker of the Week Hannah Marchand fueled a 5-1 response as the Titans took their second straight sweep in as many matches in CCAC competition.
Brown finished with a team-leading .433 attack percentage, with just one error on 30 attempts. Powell recorded her third consecutive double-double, and fourth in five matches this year, with 33 assists and 15 digs. Van der Oord registered 21 digs at libero, the highest total in a three-set match to date for the freshman.
The Titans are back in action on Thursday, when they host St. Ambrose. First serve from the Student Activities Center is set for 7:00 p.m.