UPLAND, Ind. – Indiana Wesleyan managed to escape Odle Arena with a hard fought victory over the Taylor volleyball team on Wednesday night in the latest edition of the cross-county rivalry.


The Wildcats (15-3, 9-1 CL) avenged their only Crossroads League loss of the season on Wednesday night with a sweep of Taylor. Although IWU collected the win in three sets the Trojans pushed Indiana Wesleyan in all three sets but couldn’t muster enough points late in each set to swing the outcome.


Taylor (12-7, 5-5 CL) erased an early deficit in the opening set and eventually built a 21-17 lead with kills by senior Becca Gerig and junior Addy Bailey. IWU responded with a 5-1 run to knot the game at 22-22 before surging ahead for a 27-25 win to open the competition.


The Trojans shook off the game one defeat by charging out to an 8-4 lead in the second set with a block by Bailey and an ace by freshman Brooke Syswerda capping the run. A trio of Taylor hitting errors sparked an IWU run as the Wildcats raced to a 12-9 advantage. Taylor managed to tie the game at 15-15 but IWU pulled ahead to claim a 25-20 victory.


The third set was just as competitive as the first two with Taylor scoring the first three points before IWU pulled ahead at 14-10. Taylor stormed back to tie the set at 17-17 but IWU managed to hold off a late TU rally for a 25-23 victory to secure the sweep.


Bailey paced the Taylor offense with nine kills in 26 attacks to go along with four blocks. Gerig added six kills and senior Rachel Bouma finished with four terminations. Junior Haley Harrell dished out 16 assists for Taylor while sophomore Samantha Korn tallied 19 digs for the TU defense.


Taylor recorded a .016 hitting percentage with 27 kills and 25 hitting errors in 126 attempts. Indiana Wesleyan was slightly more efficient on offense with 44 kills and 29 errors in 133 attempts for a .113 hitting percentage.


The Trojans will hit the road for four games over two days this weekend at the Olivet Nazarene tournament in Bourbonnais, Illinois. Taylor returns to Crossroads League action next Wednesday with a trip to Indianapolis for a match up with No. 25 Marian.