The IU South Bend vs. Bethel cross-town rivalry lived up to its hype as the Lady Titans battled the Lady Pilots in a non-conference matchup. IU South Bend came out flat, dropping the first two sets to the Lady Pilots. However, things turned around for IU South Bend as they would go on to win the final three sets, to take down Bethel for the first time in the program’s history in front of a packed crowd at the Student Activities Center.
The Lady Titans trailed by as many as six in the opening points of the first set, but would claw their way back into the set to even the game at 16 on a service ace from freshman Ashley McClintock. Bethel scored the next four points to push their lead to four points, 20-16. The Lady Titans showed some fight and would come back to tie the set at 22. McClintock gave the Titans their first lead of the set, 25-24 but IU South Bend could not hang on and would fall 27-25 in the opening set.
In the second set, the Lady Titans fell behind quickly, 6-0. After a rotation error from Bethel, the Lady Titans were on the board. Another rotation error by the Lady Pilots sparked a 6-0 run from the Lady Titans. During the run, McClintock scored five consecutive points, four of which came from service aces. The set would have two more ties, but it was Bethel who came out on top, 25-20 to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the match.
After a 10 minute intermission, the Lady Titans came out reenergized. With the third set even at five, the Lady Pilots committed four errors to give IU South Bend a four point advantage. Bethel rallied back to take a 13-12 lead when Aubrey Husak slammed home one of her 14 kills on the night. The Lady Titans then did what they had been doing the entire night, they came back to take the lead at 20-19 and never looked back as they took their third set 20-25.
With momentum on their side, the Lady Titans took the lead on a BC attacking error to make the score 2-1 and never looked back in the fourth set. IU South Bend led by as many as seven points and would go on to win the set, 25-21 to even the match at two games apiece.
In the race to 15, the Lady Titans had their backs against the wall as they trailed 7-2. A ball handling error from Sami Leach of Bethel gave the Lady Titans a flash of life and they took advantage of it. After taking a 12-11 lead, the match would go back-and-forth until it reached 15-all. McClintock registered her 18th and final kill of the night, to set the Lady Titans up for match point. A bad set from Leach gave the Lady Titans a 17-15 win and a 3-2 match victory.
McClintock finished the night with 18 kills in 40 total attacks. She also landed a single match record, eight service aces to go along with seven digs, one block solo and four block assists. Sierra Conklin led the way for the Lady Titans with 19 kills and 14 digs. Emily Nix racked up 12 kills while Krystle Troyer had a team-high 29 digs. Melanie Troyer chipped in with 21 digs. Ali Ritchie ended the night with 45 assists while Melissa Macellari recorded 10 assists.
The 3-2 victory give head coach, Jamie Ashmore-Pott her 50th win at the helm of the Lady Titans.
The Lady Titans move to 4-1 on the season and gear up for this weekend’s tri-match where they will face Cornerstone University, Aquinas, and Lincoln Christian.