MARION, Ind. -- Indiana Wesleyan University volleyball was given a test by Marian (Ind.) University in Luckey Arena. IWU responded with a 3-1 victory.
IWU captured the four game win with scores of 25-22, 25-13, 19-25, 25-22 to win their seventh straight match and 10th out of 11. Indiana Wesleyan ups their Mid-Central College Conference record to 7-1.
Senior middle hitter Peyton Thompson provided a lot of fire power in the middle for the Wildcats with a match-high 18 kills and senior outside hitter Kate Denlinger added 12. Junior setter Yui Iwase assisted on 44 kills.
The Wildcats seemed to be in cruise control after taking a 2-0 lead. But the Knights responded with a win in game three and went toe-to-toe with the Wildcats in the fourth game.
"We didn't come back in the third set and be willing to consider it a dogfight again," said Indiana Wesleyan head coach Candace Moats. "We lost focus and our concentration was gone and that gave them momentum."
But Indiana Wesleyan stepped up their play in the final game and avoided a fifth and deciding match.
"We had a team challenging us today," continued Moats. "They were in system and had some good middle hitters and we had to get readjusted to that. We had to attend to the middle attack but we've got to be willing to see the outside set too. It pressed us more than we've been pressed the last two weeks. It was good to see that we kept our poise."
After dropping just one game in their last five matches, Marian provided the first challenge IWU has faced since the win streak began on September 9.
Moats added, "We've been mowing people down the last two weeks and we have not had that major team come at us on the net. So today (Marian) challenged and stressed our block. And the thing I like about it is it propels us into next week which is going to challenge our block and challenge our serve receive and challenge our hitting, all the things with playing a top-20 team which we will be doing next week."
Indiana Wesleyan begins next week with a home non-conference match versus IU-East at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, September 28 in Luckey Arena. Both teams enter the match in the receiving votes section of the national poll. IWU follows that match with a weekend tournament at Indiana Tech where some NAIA Top-25 programs loom.