By: CASEY McDONALD
The Titans left their last Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Crossover tournament for the season undefeated last weekend, after a two day battle with the other conference teams.
IU South Bend had an entire week of rest before the tournament, so they were energized and ready to take on the weekend, and it showed.
Their first match was on Friday, against Judson University. The Titans fell short on their first set by two points and never leading. However, IUSB kept the stakes high and the energy flowing as they dominated the Eagles in the remaining sets.
Junior Morgan Fleming closed the second set with a kill, eight kills all night, to tie the two teams at one a piece.
In the third set, it was a back and forth battle between the two, as neither led by more than a few points at a time. Those few points turned into four when the Titans powered at the end of the set to grab their second set win, with Senior Ashley McClintock’s two kills putting them in the advantage.
The fourth and final set proved that IUSB came to play, as an early 6-1 run for the Titans began their journey to victory. A dominating lead kept the Eagles at bay, forcing timeouts and multiple substitutions, but the Eagles couldn’t find the right strategy as the Titans took the match, 3-1.
Day two of tournament weekend brought record breakers and victory flags all across the board as the Titans came to finish strong.
In their morning match against Roosevelt University, the Titans took the lead early in the first set with only one tie in the game at five a piece. The Lakers threatened but it was the Titans who took the first set.
The second set, however, didn’t go so well for IUSB as Roosevelt took a commanding 7-3 lead early in the set. Down ten points, the Titans would only score one more point before the Lakers would tie the match at one a piece.
The second set was tougher on both sides of the net, as there were eight ties in the game but only two lead changes, and those were in favor of the Lakers. Tied at 23 a piece, Roosevelt was the one to respond as the Titans drop set three, 25-23.
In set four, the Titans were not going to give this one up as a back and forth battle between the two sides forced many ties, substitutions and lead changes. With IUSB leading 17-23 after a Roosevelt timeout, the Lakers would only score two more points before the Titans took the set.
Tied at two a piece, the fifth and final set would attest to which team was the better one. Tied at five each, IUSB took a commanding 8-1 run and never looked back. Junior Sarah Allison made the final kill to win the match 3-2, making the Titans 2-0 in the competition so far.
Sophomore Sydney Lubinski and Allison both recorded nine kills, while Allison had 28 assists as well. McClintock had 17 kills on the match, with 16 digs and two service aces. Her 17 kills put her name in the record books at IU South Bend, making her the all-time leader in kills in IUSB volleyball history.
There was still more volleyball to play as the Titans entered their final matchup of the tournament against Robert Morris University. The first set was a lot like all typical conference matchups, a back and forth battle for the lead, but the Titans would win this battle, 25-19. The second set was a little more intense as multiple lead changes and ties pushed set point back by four. Attack errors by the Eagles would put the Titans up at 29-27 at the end of two, with just one more set to go before IUSB would walk home undefeated on the weekend.
The third set allowed the Titans an early 17-9 lead over RMU before they forced a timeout. Even with a 4-0 run by the Eagles, it wasn’t enough to catch up to the Titans as IUSB took the match 3-0.
The Titans walk away from the tournament not only undefeated, but 10-6 in the CCAC. And who could forget some record breaking celebration as well? The Titans will await their seeding in postseason play after the first of the month.