TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology won its sixth straight match and improved to 3-0 in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play with a 23-25, 25-15, 25-23, 20-25, 16-14 volleyball victory over Defiance College on Saturday afternoon at Hulbert Arena.
The Fightin' Engineers and Yellow Jackets were tied at 14-14 in the decisive fifth set, with both teams needing consecutive points to close the match. Kayla Harding gave Rose-Hulman a 15-14 lead with a kill, and Katie Orbeta closed the match with a service ace.
Elizabeth Canon led the Rose-Hulman offense with 20 kills. Four Fightin' Engineers reached double figures in kills, with Harding adding 12, Riley Woodruff contributing 11, and Orbeta recording 10. Orbeta led the team with 36 assists and five block assists, while Eryn Castaneda contributed 25 assists to the effort.
Orbeta's solid overall performance included 36 assists, 10 kills, nine digs, five block assists and two service aces.
Other statistical leaders included Emma Royer and Orbeta with two service aces each; and Katryna Dahlberg with 34 digs. Gabrielle Gilbertson added 14 digs, with Royer (12) and Castaneda (10) also reaching double figures.
Woodruff matched Orbeta with five total blocks, including one solo effort. Maria Bruner pitched in with nine kills and three blocks.
Jessi Davis led Defiance with 17 kills and just one hitting error. Morgan Porter added 45 digs, and Brianna Wheeler had 50 assists for the Yellow Jackets.
Rose-Hulman stands 11-12 overall after its sixth straight win and maintains a share of the HCAC lead at 3-0 in league play. Defiance dropped to 13-8 and 1-2 in league play which includes a pair of five-set losses. The Fightin' Engineers return to action at home on Wednesday night.