The Taylor volleyball team secured their 12th win of the season last Friday, defeating Spring Arbor in 4 sets. Going into the weekend the Trojan’s record stands at 12-9 overall and 3-2 in conference play.
Taylor took the first set 25-22, but Spring Arbor tied the match at 1-1 after taking the second set 25-21.
Junior Amanda Adams said errors were the main issue in the second set for Taylor.
“Our biggest problem in that set was just not limiting our errors,” Adams said. “We had too many points that we felt we gave up.”
Head Coach Erin Luthy echoed Adams’ thoughts on the errors and also saw them as the main reason they dropped the second set. Luthy added that the team shanked some passes and hit too many balls out of bounds.
Taylor fell behind early in the third set, but stormed back by scoring eight of nine points and building a 13-11 lead behind three kills from senior Julia Pomerenke. The Trojans went on to win the tightly contested set 26-24.
In the fourth and final set, Taylor opened up an early lead and never let go of it, winning the set 25-21 and clinching the conference win over Spring Arbor.
Adams said the team held each other accountable after the second set, which helped eliminate some of the errors.
Luthy applauded the team’s ability to rebound after the second set and clean up the errors.
“Our hitting percentage went way up,” Luthy said.“When we utilize our attack, we have so many weapons that when we can get the ball to the setter, we usually win.”
Pomerenke, a vital part of that attack, led the team in both kills and kill percentage against Spring Arbor.
“We had the mindset of ‘let’s just go finish the job,’” Pomerenke said. “I really just focused on my job and did my job well.”
Pomerenke credited the defense and passers for giving her and the rest of the attackers the chance to have a strong night.
Despite dropping two hard-fought conference matches on the road, Saturday to Saint Francis and Wednesday to Grace, the Trojans feel good about where they are.
“Our conference is super tough this year,” Luthy said. “Everyone’s competing at a very high level, but we are definitely going to be a part of that mix, and I’m excited to see how it plays out.”
Adams and Pomerenke have the same confidence.
“We have a whole new level of trust and respect and determination. Coming out with a conference title-that’s what we want,” Adams said.
Pomerenke, a senior, said this is the most confident she has been about a team in her four years at Taylor, and felt the team is building something special through their determination and desire to play for each other.
The Trojans have an important weekend coming up with home matches against Indiana Wesleyan and Marian, two ranked teams within the Crossroads League. Picking up wins this weekend against two conference rivals could push Taylor out ahead of the pack in the crowded Crossroads League, and while both teams should provide them with a challenge, it’s a challenge they seem ready for.