GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The six-match win streak for IU South Bend was snapped on Saturday, as the Titans were tripped up on the final day of the Aquinas-Cornerstone Invitational. IUSB fell in four sets to St. Thomas (Fla.), before dropping the rematch with hosts Aquinas (Mich.) in a five-set battle.
Amber Jacobs averaged a team-high 2.8 kills per set over the two matches, posting 11 kills against St. Thomas, and 14 against Aquinas. Setter McKenzie Powell tallied 87 assists, including 52 over five sets against the Saints in game two. Defensively, libero Suriya Van der Oord finished with a team-leading 21 and 16 digs, respectively.
St. Thomas (6-4) led most of the opening set, but the Titans (6-3) closed the gap after the Bobcats earned set point at 24-22. A kill from Felisha Campanello followed by a Campanello/Hannah Marchand block tied the score. In all, the Titans held off a total of five set points, and had chances of their own to take the set at 26-25 and 27-26, but the Bobcats would close out the win with back-to-back kills at 31-29.
The Titans would come back to take game two, 25-19, but dropped game three, 25-11. Looking to stay alive in game four, Jacobs’ kill tied the score at 16-16, but St. Thomas responded with four straight points and closed the match on a 5-1 run to take the win.
In the second match of the day, IU South Bend opened with a 25-20 victory in the first set, but dropped the next two to Aquinas by scores of 25-19 and 25-23. Trailing by as much as six in the fourth set, 17-11, IUSB bounced back, starting with a 4-1 run highlighted by a kill and block assist from Brown to make it an 18-15 lead for the Saints (9-5). A pair of kills from Abby Seeger along with a Marchand ace pulled the Titans even at 21-21. Both sides would have set point down the stretch, but IUSB got the win on their fourth set point, 30-28.
IU South Bend couldn’t keep the momentum going into the fifth set however, as Aquinas pulled away. Marchand scored a kill to cut the Saints lead to 7-6, but Aquinas scored six of the next eight points to go up 14-8 on their way to the win.
After playing six matches in the last five days, the Titans have a lighter load next week, with their only contest coming on Tuesday, September 14 with a trip to Judson. First serve in the CCAC matchup is set for 8:00 p.m.