UPLAND, Ind. -- The top-25 volleyball battle in Upland, Indiana lived up to its billing as Taylor (Ind.) University defended its home court in five games against Indiana Wesleyan University on Wednesday night.
No. 12-ranked Taylor improves its Mid-Central College Conference record to 10-0 and now holds a two game lead over Grace (Ind.) College (8-2) while Indiana Wesleyan falls to 2.5 games back with a 7-2 record.
The battle between the top two teams in the MCC was a back and forth affair. Taylor (15-3) looked strong in the opening game as they won 25-13. Indiana Wesleyan stormed back to take a 2-1 match lead with wins by 25-19 and 25-20. Taylor answered with a game four victory 25-17 before winning the decisive game five 15-13.
The loss ends the Indiana Wesleyan 12-match win streak that dates back to September 7 when IWU last lost, a 3-0 defeat at Grace. During the extended winning streak, Indiana Wesleyan beat three NAIA Top-25 programs, including then No. 9-ranked and unbeaten Indiana Tech on Saturday.
Pacing the Wildcat effort Wednesday night was senior middle hitter Peyton Thompson. She led the team with 16 kills and a pair of blocks. Reigning MCC Player of the Week, senior outside hitter Kate Denlinger, added 12 kills, nine digs and five blocks while junior outside hitter Brooke Atwell contributed 10 kills and two blocks.
Junior setter Yui Iwase assisted on 46 kills and compiled a double-double with 14 digs. Senior libero Kelsey Masuda earned 26 digs and five assists on the evening while senior middle hitter Lauryn Barfell added seven kills and seven blocks.
Indiana Wesleyan (18-4) looks to begin a new win streak when IWU hosts Goshen (Ind.) College at 7 p.m. on Friday, October 7 in Luckey Arena.