UPLAND, Ind. – The Taylor volleyball team will open postseason play on Saturday afternoon when the Trojans host Huntington in the quarterfinals of the Crossroads League tournament.
Taylor (15-14, 11-7) will begin its quest for its first Crossroads League tournament title since 2010 on Saturday at 5:00 pm when the 3rd-seeded Trojans face 5th-seeded Huntington. Taylor has a pair of victories over the Foresters already this season, sweeping Huntington in the home opener on Sept. 2 and picking up a four-set victory at Huntington on Oct. 14.
The Trojans feature a balanced offensive attack with four Trojan hitters tallying over 150 kills during the 2015 season. The sophomore duo of Becca Gerig and Rachel Bouma have been the most consistent TU hitters with 252 and 209 kills, respectively. Junior Kelly Arnold started the season on a torrid pace but missed significant time due to injury. However, the Marietta, Ga., native registered her first double-digit kill outing since September with a team-high 12 kills in the Trojans' final regular season match against Goshen.
Senior setter Julia Fahy is the engineer of the Taylor offense, ranking third in the Crossroads League with 8.8 assists per set and helping Taylor to the fourth best team hitting percentage at .167. Defensively, Fahy, Gerig, and junior libero Alex Reel have provided stability for the TU back row. Reel ranks sixth in the Crossroads League with 4.2 digs per set while Gerig and Fahy each add 2.7 digs per set. Reel has also been effective as a server, ranking second in the Crossroads League with 42 service aces.
Huntington (12-14, 8-10) has played some of its best volleyball of late, winning six of its last seven matches, including a five-set road victory over #RV IU Kokomo on Wednesday. The Foresters utilize outside hitters Josie Beaver and Audrey Mallers for an attack that has a season hitting percentage of .133. Beaver ranks seventh in the Crossroads League with 2.9 kills per set while Mallers is averaging 2.4 kills per set.
The Foresters strength has been blocking where HU's Danielle Gurwell and Ashli Drewes rank second and third in the Crossroads League with over one block per set. Huntington leads the league with 2.4 blocks per set and the Foresters back up the stout front line defense with solid back row play, ranking second in the Crossroads League with 17 digs per set.
Saturday's quarterfinal match is scheduled to begin at 5:00 pm in Odle Arena. Live video and stats will be available free of charge on the Trojan Sports Network. The winner of Saturday's match will advance to the semifinals to face the winner of the No. 2 seed Indiana Wesleyan and No. 7 seed Saint Francis on Wednesday.