The Cougars jumped out to an early two-set lead, but saw its momentum slowed in the third when Purdue University Calumet took the third set 31-29. IU Kokomo knew they had to come out in the fourth set and match the intensity of the Peregrines. The Cougars refocused and closed out the match, winning the fourth set 25-21.
"I am very excited for our first NAIA win of the season," said Coach Kristen Snoddy. "The girls came out ready to play knowing that at this level you can not take a play off if you want to win."
Lael Burrus (Denver/North Miami H.S.) led the team with 26 digs and Rachel Williams, a Wisconsin native, chipped in 21 digs. Coach Snoddy also credited Sophomore Emily West (Peru/Peru H.S.) with a good defensive game for the Cougars. The offensive attack was lead by freshman Rachel Allen (Lizton, Tri-West H.S.) and Megan Riley (New Palstine, New Palstine H.S.) with 8 and 9 kills respectively.
"I have to give the girls credit," Snoddy said. "They regrouped and matched the other team's intensity to come back and win in the fourth set. We are growing and showing improvement with closing out matches when having the lead. We are headed in the right direction and showing more maturity."
The IU Kokomo Lady Cougars return to action today (August 25) against St. Thomas at 2pm in the second day of matches at the Illinois Institute of Technology Kickoff Tournament.
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.