MARION, Ind. -- No. 10-ranked Indiana Wesleyan University was forced to overcome a two game deficit in a 3-2 come-from-behind victory over No. 22-ranked Cornerstone (Mich.) University in the NAIA Volleyball Match of the Week.
Cornerstone jumped out to an impressive 2-0 lead in the final match of the Indiana Wesleyan-Indiana Tech Crossover Tournament in Luckey Arena. The Golden Eagles dominated play with wins of 25-11 and 25-21.
"In the first set we felt like they were a really super team right after we went through a five set match so we were mentally off," said Indiana Wesleyan head coach Candace Moats. "We weren't ready to play and battle. And the second game, I said if we are going to get pummeled we're going to get pummeled trying something new. So I changed things up and made the changes to see what would happen. And from there it started rolling."
Indiana Wesleyan made those adjustments after the rough first game and they paid off by the third game as the Wildcats won the final three games by scores of 25-18, 25-12, 15-11.
"Two things today, heart and attitude," said Moats. "We made a major change and a major decision to take out senior starters and put in our freshman. And those seniors sat on that sideline and cheered for those freshmen. That attitude and heart are what we are about right now. It's making our team a very strong, cohesive team."
Freshman Katie Holler entered the match as the Indiana Wesleyan setter, replacing senior Yui Iwase, a NAIA All-American Second Team selection a season ago. Holler ignited the Indiana Wesleyan attack with career-highs of 34 assists and 13 digs.
"Our freshman setter did phenomenal," said Moats. "She set the game exactly the way we needed. Katie just had a phenomenal game and really helped set the tone."
Junior outside hitter Rae Brandes and senior outside hitter Rachel Quackenbush led all players with 13 kills apiece. Junior middle hitter Kristine Egebrecht concludes her tremendous week with 11 kills in addition to two aces, three solo blocks, and two block assists while junior libero Rebecca Brandes contributed a match-high 24 digs.
Cornerstone was led by freshman outside hitter Chelsea Lake with 12 kills and 15 digs. Junior setter Kim Weaver tallied 34 assists and 10 kills while junior right-side hitter Becky Albrecht added 11 kills and two solo blocks.
The Indiana Wesleyan victory is the 13th in a row for the team as they improve to 20-1 this season. IWU ups its record to 5-0 against NAIA Top-25 programs after winning both matches against ranked opponents this week (won 3-1 @ No. 18 IU-East on Wednesday). Cornerstone falls to 12-4.
Indiana Wesleyan returns to Crossroads League action their next time out. IWU hosts Goshen (Ind.) College at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, October 3 in Luckey Arena.