GOSHEN, Ind. – The Goshen College Women's Volleyball team made history on their home court by defeating ranked conference foe, Taylor University, Wednesday evening. An 11-25, 25-21, 18-25, 25-19, 15-10 victory provided its first win over Taylor since 1991, snapping a long 38-match losing streak to the 24th-ranked Trojans.
"It's really hard to put in words," said an excited head coach Jim Routhier of his team's win, "it was a great match not just for the team but the program."
The team worked hard from the start to stay up with Taylor after the loss of the first set, 11-25. The second set the Leafs made a comeback by taking the win, 25-21. The next three sets were back in forth with Taylor winning the third and then Goshen scoring the final six points of the fourth to even the match at two sets each.
Three Hannah Grieser kills got Goshen off to a strong start in the fifth and decisive set as they led 5-4 early on. After the score was knotted at 6-6, sophomores Melanie Meyer and Sam Heberling combined for four kills and the Leafs used a 7-3 run to put them on the verge of the upset.
After a Taylor kill, Stacy Wyse executed a picture perfect dump to set up match point. Grieser's jump serve clipped the top of the net and dropped to the side of a helpless Trojan defense as Gunden Gymnasium erupted in celebration.
The offense was undoubtedly run by the three top hitters Melanie Meyer, Hannah Grieser, and Sam Heberling. Meyer led with a high career-high 19 kills, Grieser with 15 kills, and Heberling with 16. The trio was helped along by junior setter Stacy Wyse with 53 assists for the night.
Goshen scored fewer points than Taylor overall (100-94), but twice erased one-set deficits and then made key plays in the fifth set to pull out the upset.
On the defensive end, four players finished with more than 10 digs, including sophomores Jaime Stack and Missy Mackowiak with 19 and 18, respectively. Goshen had a slight .196 to .193 edge in hitting percentage, which helped overcome Taylor's nine team blocks.
Elizabeth Luke led Taylor with 17 kills, while Courtney Herschberger finished with a match-high 31 digs.
"We aren't tall like Taylor but collectively as a group we are tough to beat," says Routhier of his dynamic group of athletes, "We aren't at the top of the hill yet but we have made tremendous strides recently."
The win moves Goshen to 9-15 overall and 4-8 in Crossroads League play. Taylor is now 16-7 and 10-3. The Leafs will travel to Huntington University on Friday before hosting Grace College on Saturday.