MARION, Ind. -- Tonight's Mid-Central College Conference Volleyball Tournament First Round match with Goshen (Ind.) College did not provide the same theatrics as Friday's huge showdown with Taylor (Ind.) University.
After a record setting crowd in Luckey Arena for the top-15 showdown, No. 2-seed Indiana Wesleyan volleyball returned to the court and won its conference tournament opener 3-0 over No. 7-seed Goshen by scores of 25-23, 25-13, 25-21.
"The energy tonight was absolutely opposite of the energy that we had Friday night," said Indiana Wesleyan head coach Candace Moats. "But I'm content that there was a steadiness to just play through that. I understand that in sports that there's not always going to be the high energy. So to stay steady and play through an average performance is a good thing."
The Wildcats (32-4) survived average first and third games Tuesday night to advance to the MCC Tournament Semifinals. There, No. 3-seed Grace (Ind.) College waits.
"We won't need to change any kind of energy level Thursday because we're playing Grace," continued Moats. "That's going to generate its own energy. So we're just going to stick with our game plan."
Senior outside hitter Peyton Thompson, who was named NAIA National Player of the Week earlier in the day, led all players with 12 kills. Senior outside hitter Kate Denlinger was the only other player in double figures with 10 and she also had a match-high with three solo blocks. Junior setter Yui Iwase added 38 assists.
Senior libero Kelsey Masuda contributed 23 digs in the win. In game two, Masuda earned her 15th dig of the match which moved her to the top of the list at Indiana Wesleyan in career digs. She now leads the list with 2,318 digs in her four year IWU career.
Goshen (17-15) was led by freshman outside hitter Jamie Stack with nine kills and a .318 hitting percentage.
"Goshen is a much improved team," added Moats. "They came inspired and there was a lot of energy on their side. Those are scary matches. They have nothing to lose. We weren't looking past them by any means because we've been watching them get better and better."
No. 15-ranked Indiana Wesleyan and Grace will play their MCC Semifinal match at 7 p.m. on Thursday, November 10 in Luckey Arena. The teams split two games during the regular season, each winning on their home court.