BY CASEY McDONALD
It was a busy weekend for the IU South Bend volleyball team as they rolled into Davenport, Iowa, for the the two day Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Crossover at St. Ambrose.
Friday started day one, as the Titans prepared for their conference matchups 250 miles away from home. The first matchup was against Cardinal Stritch University where the Titans struggled to get ahead. The Titans fought hard, with kills by juniors Ashli Drewes and Sarah Allison. The Titans kept up the pace before four consecutive attack errors on the team pushed the wolves ahead, 12-6. It didn’t get any easier as four more attack errors put the wolves at set point, who then won on a service ace.
The second set was a little closer to start off, as both teams went back and forth to fight for the lead. The Titans combined for five more attack errors throughout the game. Cardinal Stritch went on a 15-0 run before a kill by Allison put a point on the board making it 19-5. IUSB would only score nine points this set as the Wolves walked away with the 25-9 victory.
The third set was a lot closer for the Titans as senior Ashley McClintock helped lead the Titans through a hard battle with five kills. Though the score was closer in this set, Cardinal Stritch took the match 3-0 after a kill from the opposer.
It was a late night for the Titans as their second matchup of the night started around the 8 p.m. mark against the Cougars of St. Xavier University. The first set seemed promising for the Titans, as they carried their first lead of the entire conference, 12-9. The cougars kept fighting back against IUSB as a kill on McClintock put them in the lead, 16-15. The Titans would only score four more points in the set as St. Xavier would take the first set. The second set when quickly as the Titans only got into double digits within the last few minutes of the set, losing 25-12.
The third and final set of the night was close, as the lead kept changing throughout. An attack error by McClintock put the cougars in the lead, but it was a service error by St Xavier that put the Titans ahead. The Titans 6-1 run to put them seven points up. The Cougars would tie it up at 16 a piece with a kill. It would be the last time the Titans would take the lead, as they came close but short with the 21-25 loss. Day one would end with the Titans being 0-2, but keeping their spirits high as they would get a nights rest and return for redemption on Saturday.
Day two was a lot brighter for IUSB as they walked into a matchup against the host team, the Fighting Bees of St. Ambrose University.
At first, it did not seem like day two was going to go in their favor, when the first two sets were dropped by the Titans when they just couldn’t find their rhythm against their opponent. An attack error by McClintock ended the first set 25-19. In the second set, the Titans held the lead through 10 when an attack error by McClintock tied the game for the Fighting Bees. It was neck and neck up until another attack error on McClintock pushed St. Ambrose to the 25-22 win.
Knowing the feelings of being down by two sets, the Titans were not in the mood to lose another conference match. IUSB held nothing back as a strong kill by Drewes with the assist by Allison set the tone for the third set. A service ace by senior Jadalyn Tindall put the up by seven for double digit numbers as they cruised to the 25-12 victory. Their first win in the conference tournament kept them alive against St. Ambrose, and it did not stop there.
The fourth set took off quickly for IU South Bend as the team, being up 2-4, went on a 8-0 run with kills from McClintock, Allison and junior Morgan Fleming. Nerves ran high as St. Ambrose threatened as they went on a 11-1 run against the Titans to make the score 20-21 in favor of IUSB. An attack error by sophomore Sydney Lubinski put the match on the line when both teams were tied up at 24 a piece, needing a two point lead to win. It was McClintock with the kill and a service ace by Rehlander that took the fourth set.
Headed into the fifth and final set, one of these two teams were walking away with a conference win as a service ace by freshman Morgan Powell started the run for the Titans. In a tiebreaker set, first team to 15 wins, and the Titans did just that as they went on a 8-1 run. St. Ambrose tried to fight back going 3-0, and taking two timeouts to try to find a strategy. Jaime Ashmore and the Titans would not let up as a kill by Drewes sealed the deal, giving the Titans their first match win of the tournament.
The fourth matchup of the tournament for the TItans was against the Trojans of Trinity International. The first set went in favor of the Trojans, as attack errors by Allison pilled up this time around. IUSB wasn’t giving up though, even they were down in the second set all the way until they tied the game at 24 a piece. The Trojans went on a rampage and went from a 10-5 lead to a 21-17 lead, and just kept pushing. But the Titans were going to take this win. Having to win by two points, both teams were tied at 25 and 26 a piece before an attack error by the Trojans and a kill by Allison tied the match at 1 set each.
The third set was not easy for either team as the score went back and forth. It wasn’t until the Titans scored their 20th point of the match that one of the two teams took off. With three kills my McClintock and attack errors on the opposing team, the Titans took the match lead, 2-1.
The Titans would go on to win the fourth set, easily outscoring Trinity International by 10 points, taking the match 3-1.
IU South Bend is not 8-9 overall, and 5-4 in the CCAC.