Coach Nickie Sanlin in one night not only was able to beat one of her coaching mentors Dan Friend but led McKendree to its biggest upset.
McKendree in its conference opener finished with a .339 attack percentage to defeat No. 6/5 Lewis 25-19, 22-25, 25-22, 21-25, 15-9 on Friday in Romeoville, Illinois.
This was the second all-time victory for the Bearcats (7-4, 1-0 MIVA) against their in-state conference rival. It also was the highest ranked team that McKendree has defeated in its program history.
Along with leading the Bearcats to out-hit the Flyers, setter Ryan Serrano had six kills and zero attack errors on a .857 attack percentage. Serrano was one of three Bearcats to have at least five kills, commit zero errors and have more than a .600 attack percentage in the victory.
Middle attacker Lucas Galifos finished with nine kills while hitting .818, while middle attacker Wyatt Dimke added six kills on a .667 attack percentage.
Outside attacker Ethan Carroll had 13 kills on a .370 attack percentage, including three kills in the decisive fifth game. In addition, outside attacker Patrick Ross led the Bearcats with 14 kills.
With this victory, McKendree is on a four-match winning streak and is now off to its best start to a season in program history.
Lewis (7-4, 0-1 MIVA) was held to a match-low zero attack percentage in the decisive fifth game — the third game of the match that it hit less than .200.
Outside attacker Ryan Coenen in the loss finished with a match-high 19 kills. Middle attacker Tyler Mitchem also added 12 kills ona .458 attack percentage.