MARION, Ind. --Indiana Wesleyan University volleyball nearly brought a close to a prolonged Taylor (Ind.) University win streak on October 5. On November 4, Indiana Wesleyan completed the job it nearly did a month earlier.
A record crowd witnessed the end of the Taylor 53-match Mid-Central College Conference regular season win streak. An estimated 1,700 fans packed out Luckey Arena to witness the 3-1 Indiana Wesleyan victory by scores of 22-25, 25-20, 25-21, 25-20.
"I feel like we're climbing in the right direction," said Indiana Wesleyan head coach Candace Moats. "We're building a memory this season and a real solid program that the girls believe in. It's pretty neat to be a part of."
No. 12-ranked Taylor (27-6, 17-1 MCC) last lost a regular season conference match at University of Saint Francis (Ind.) on September 28, 2007.
No. 15-ranked Indiana Wesleyan (31-4, 16-2 MCC) did not look like the team to finally bring a close to Taylor's win streak after the first game. Despite the 25-22 score, Taylor dominated and held large leads throughout.
"We kind of looked nervous," stated Moats. "The girls seemed timid and we were in our own gym. They just needed to settle down."
The Wildcats did and never looked back, winning the next three games for the victory.
"The game plan was executed really well," added Moats. "I felt once they believed in it things would start to go our way."
The biggest contributor was senior Peyton Thompson. In her final regular season home match as a Wildcat, Thompson set a career-high with 26 kills. She was pin-point all night with a .579 attacking percentage.
"Peyton Thompson has come into her own," Moats said. "She believes and has made the adjustments she needs to at the outside position. She's just playing outstanding and was a really big factor for us tonight. A big one."
Thompson received a lot of support from her fellow classmates on Senior Night.
Libero Kelsey Masuda has a match-high 32 digs, outside hitter Kate Denlinger was one kill shy of a double-double with nine kills and 15 digs, while middle hitter Lauryn Barfell added nine kills and two block assists.
Sophomore middle hitter Kristine Egebrecht contributed 10 kills and two solo blocks while junior setter Yui Iwase tied a season-high with 56 assists.
Indiana Wesleyan hit .212 as a team, but the IWU defensive was a big component in the victory tonight.
"We put together a new defensive scheme tonight," said Moats. "We practiced it pretty much all day for two days. It worked, it was perfect. It did exactly what we wanted it to do. (Taylor) had to hit in order to beat us."
Indiana Wesleyan will begin postseason play next week. IWU is the No. 2-seed in the MCC Tournament and will host either Goshen (Ind.) College or Bethel (Ind.) College in the MCC First Round on Tuesday night at 7 p.m.