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WHITING, Ind. - They don't need knee pads. They need starting blocks and a relay baton.
A hurried-up Indiana University East volleyball team zipped along to two more wins on Oct. 20 on the final day of the Calumet College of Saint Joseph Crimson Wave Invitational.
The 18th-ranked Red Wolves (33-2) started the day with a 25-17, 25-22, 25-22 win against a scrappy squad from Roosevelt University (19-12).
IU East finished the day with a 25-17, 25-13, 25-14 win against the University of Michigan-Dearborn (15-15).
The Red Wolves were crowned tournament champions with a 4-0 weekend record. IU East swept four matches at a weekend tournament for a fourth time this season.
"We've claimed our identity of a high-level program that can compete with anyone," said IU East coach Charlie Brown. "It's time for our national ranking to reflect our level of play. Look at our record. We've been beaten by just two teams, and we've beaten teams ahead of us. It's time for us to move up.
"I'm excited about the way we played and the level of confidence and effort put forth. Everyone was all-in, and that's what it takes to have a great team - for everyone to be all-in."
IU East again unleashed its fast-speed offense, again with devastating effect.
An example: IU East senior setter Lauren Crump (Indianapolis, Ind./Scecina Memorial High School) was able to distribute 50 assists in just three sets against Michigan-Dearborn - her season high for a three-set and a four-set match. Crump's 92 assists on the day put her one assist away from the No. 10 spot on the NAIA all-time career assist list.
(In a role reversal, Crump also had a kill on IU East's Parallax Systems Match Point against Roosevelt).
Junior defensive specialist Meagan Stoker (Celina, Ohio/Celina High School) explained the "SP33D" slogan written on all of the Red Wolves' wrists.
They wanted to play fast. They wanted two three-set wins. And they wanted to reach 33 victories for the season.
Check, check and check.
"We wanted to speed up our offense, and we did that," said Stoker, who also had one of IU East's Wetzel Family Auto Cruise Aces. "We trusted each other, and that's a big part of this. It takes a full effort from everyone to speed up our offense, and everyone did."
The Red Wolves host Asbury University in a non-conference match on Oct. 24 at Seton Catholic High School. Match time is 7 p.m.
IU East will wear pink uniforms in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
IU East-Roosevelt box score
IU East-Michigan-Dearborn box score