SOUTH BEND, IN - IU South Bend head volleyball coach Jamie Ashmore is in her seventh season with the Titans. Leading up to the 2017 home opener Coach Ashmore only needed one more win to reach 100 for her career. This was no small task as the Titans were scheduled to face the University of Saint Francis (ILL), a conference foe who they had never previously beaten (0-11 all-time). However, with the help of the home crowd and some timely plays IU South Bend defeated USF in four close sets (25-23, 20-25, 25-23, 25-23) to win their home opener and deliver Coach Ashmore her 100th career victory.
The first set of the match was back and forth, as neither team could gain a significant lead. With the score tied 23-23 it was anyone's set to win. That's when back-to-back kills by Sarah Allison (JR/Mishawaka, Indiana) and Ashli Drewes (JR/New Buffalo, Michigan) put the game away giving the Titans a 1-0 advantage in the match.
The second set was another close one, and with the Titans trailing 18-19 a kill by Ashley McClintock (SR/Westville, Indiana) tied the set at 19-19. However, from there it was all Fighting Saints as they would go on a 6-1 run to win the set and tie the match at 1-1.
The Titans responded by taking a commanding 21-13 lead in the third set, but just when it looked like they were going to win a quick set, USF fought all the way back to tie the score at 22-22. Both teams would go on to trade points to tie the match at 23-23. Reminiscent of the first set the Titans won the next two points thanks to a kill by Sarah Allison and a USF attack error.
The fourth set was more of the same as IU South Bend jumped out to a 19-11 lead and the match seemed all but over. But the Fighting Saints weren't ready to quit just yet as they went on a 12-4 run to tie the match at 23-23. Two points away from victory it was the Titans who would again close the set this time on a kill by Morgan Powell (FR/New Prarie, Indiana) and a USF attack error.
The win marked the first time the Titans have ever beaten USF and gave Coach Ashmore an exciting and memorable 100th win in front of a cheering home crowd.
IU South Bend will be back at home September 9 as they take on Siena Heights University and Goshen College.