TROJANS DOMINATE IN VICTORY OVER NO. 20 IWU
UPLAND, Ind. – With a season-best hitting percentage of .367 the Taylor volleyball team swept No. 20 Indiana Wesleyan for a dominant Crossroads League road win on Friday night.
Becca Gerig controlled the net for Taylor as the senior tallied 13 kills and committed just one hitting error in 22 attacks to lead TU’s offensive onslaught. Sophomore Callie Drage was nearly as efficient with nine kills and just one error, senior Kayla Springer added eight kills and one error, while fellow senior Rachel Bouma finished with seven terminations and no errors in just 11 attempts.
The Trojans (8-3, 2-1 CL) dominated from the outset as Taylor exploded out of the gate for a quick 8-1 advantage in the opening set. Senior Laura Craig sparked the Taylor flurry with a pair of aces while Drage, Springer, and Gerig each tallied kills to propel TU into the early lead.
Indiana Wesleyan (8-3, 2-1 CL) stormed back to tie the opening set at 12-12 but Gerig took control with four kills as the Trojans closed the first set by outscoring the Wildcats 13-2 for a decisive 25-14 win.
The score throughout the second set was much closer as neither team built more than a two-point advantage until IWU utilized a 4-0 run to take a 22-18 lead late in the set. The Trojans answered the bell, however, as Drage tallied a pair of kills to spark Taylor to a 7-1 run to close out the second set and take a commanding two sets to none lead in the match.
With momentum clearly behind the Purple and Gold, Taylor stormed to an early 10-5 advantage in the third set and never allowed Indiana Wesleyan to draw closer than four on the way to a 25-15 win and a 3-0 sweep.
The victory was just Taylor’s second in the last 15 match ups with the Wildcats. Taylor last win in the series was also a sweep on Oct. 1, 2014 with the last TU win prior to that victory coming on Oct. 5, 2011.
Junior Haley Harrell turned in another impressive performance with 28 assists and 11 digs for TU. Sophomore Samantha Korn led Taylor with 20 digs while Gerig added nine and Craig tallied seven. Freshman Brooke Syswerda added to the offense with 12 assists while sophomore Hannah Paul provided a spark with five kills in just six attacks.
Taylor’s .367 hitting percentage was not only a season-best but was the highest hitting percentage for the Trojans since TU hit .375 in a victory over Lawrence Tech on Sept. 4, 2015.
The Trojans will return to action on Saturday as TU hosts the last undefeated team in Crossroads League play in #RV Marian with opening serve slated for 3:00 PM inside Odle Arena.