Women’s volleyball secures Championship title and CCIW honors

By James Stein Nov 12, 2021
Senior CCIW Player of the Year Maddy Corey (#6) celebrates a three-set sweep against Carthage and the Championship title. Photo: Kodiak Creative
Senior CCIW Player of the Year Maddy Corey (#6) celebrates a three-set sweep against Carthage and the Championship title. Photo: Kodiak Creative

Illinois Wesleyan women’s volleyball boasts the 2021 College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin Championship title and multiple CCIW player honors. The awards follow their three-set victory against Carthage College on Saturday, November 4. 

 

Head women’s volleyball coach Kim Nelson-Brown was voted the CCIW Coach of the Year for the third time in her career at Illinois Wesleyan (2003, 2018). She managed to lead the Titans to victories in the regular season and CCIW championship tournaments, an impressive 7-1 conference and 19-12 non-conference records for the season.

 

“Our season has been crazy this year,” said sophomore Annika Altekruse about Brown’s coaching. “We’ve had a lot of successes and great leadership to show us all what IWU volleyball is all about.” 

 

Senior Maddy Corey was also named the CCIW Player of the Year and added to the All-CCIW roster. Corey has led the Titans this season, dishing out an impressive 566 assists, 39 service aces and 246 digs in both conference and non-conference play. 

 

She has also been recognized by the CCIW as a Player of the Week twice this season.

 

Corey pulled out all the stops against the Firebirds, hitting back-to-back kills to win the first set and a tournament total of 15 assists, five kills, seven digs, two blocks and an ace.

 

Altekruse also joined the list of CCIW-recognized players this week after receiving a CCIW Volleyball Elite 25 Award. 

The American Volleyball Coaches Association also had something to say about Illinois Wesleyan. 

 

Senior Jessica McCall was selected as this week’s AVCA Player of the Week, marking the first nationally-ranking award of her collegiate career. McCall was a powerhouse with an 18-and-12 double-double in kills and digs during the CCIW championship tournament against Carthage and a .378 hitting percentage in the previous tournament against Millikin and Carthage. 

 

Seniors Dana Kiszkowski and Courtney McAuliffe also proved essential to a Titan victory against the Firebirds. The senior duo produced eight kills apiece and matching .368 attacking percentages. McAuliffe also tallied an additional two blocks. 

 

In the first set, McAuliffe ruined an early Carthage lead with a kill assisted by freshman Ava Porada. McCall brought the 6-6 tie to a Titan lead with an ace, followed by a block from Kizskowski. 

Corey padded the Titans’ lead with back-to-back kills as senior Amber Juarez closed out the set with an ace for a 25-21 win. 

 

Offense forced an early 4-0 lead in the second set. McCall and junior Evy Makris followed suit. McCall provided an ace and both McCall and Makris added one kill apiece. Because of their strong offensive attacks, the Titans hammered out a .441 attacking average for the second set and took home a 25-11 win. 

 

The third set found a much tighter end. A kill by McCall off of a Firebird block allowed the Titans to pull forward 6-3 before they fell behind when Carthage forced an IWU timeout. But, the timeout allowed the Titans to regroup and pull out a nail-bitingly close 25-22 victory. 

 

The new 2021 CCIW women’s volleyball champions will play again in the first leg of the NCAA Regional Tournament against Northwestern-St. Paul on Thursday, November 11 at 12:30 P.M.

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