BLOOMINGTON — The Millikin volleyball team beat Illinois Wesleyan in a five-set thriller on Thursday to advance to the finals of the CCIW Tournament.
Millikin (21-12), the No. 3 seed, beat Illinois Wesleyan (9-20) 22-25, 25-19, 18-25, 25-19, 15-10. The Big Blue will face top-seeded Carthage (26-3) for the championship at 5 p.m. Saturday at Kenosha, Wis.
Millikin fell behind 2-1 after three sets, but with the match on the line in the fourth set, Millikin fell behind by four, but tied it 13-13, then took a 16-14 lead it wouldn't relinquish.
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The fifth set saw more back and forth scoring from Millikin and Illinois Wesleyan. In total, the game was tied five times before Millikin pulled away late in the set. Skylar Harris had an ace to finish off the Titans.
Senior setter Rose Syversen lead the match with 51 assists, tying the second best single-game performance of her career. Leading the Big Blue on the offensive attack was sophomore Lauren Brummel, who had 21 kills, followed by Marissa McElroy with 17 kills and Tori Stuart with 16. On defense, Julianna Vassallo lead the match in digs with 25, while Syversen and Alyssa Vignos both had 17.
Carthage enters the tournament finals ranked fourth in the AVCA Top 25 Poll, in which Millikin received three votes.