Iowa Central moves to 9-0

Iowa Central moves to 9-0

By: The Messenger Sports Report Dana Becker


The 14th-ranked (NJCAA, Div. II) Iowa Central volleyball team remained the lone unbeaten left standing in the ICCAC with a sweep over Southwestern here Wednesday evening.

Scores were 26-24, 25-14 and 25-18 inside Hodges Fieldhouse.

The Tritons (9-0 overall, 2-0 in league) climbed into the rankings thanks to their perfect start. But that was in doubt early on, as the Spartans (4-9, 1-1) stood toe-to-toe with them.

"We knew Southwestern was a good team, as they were coming off a win over NIACC," ICCC head coach Sara Horn said. "We were ready for them, but they have really good pins and we didn't pass well that first set.

"I thought that we came back in the second and third and played much better."

Horn credited freshman Sam Martinez with generating that spark in the second, as Iowa Central reeled off 15 of 16 points to take a commanding 18-7 lead. That included nine consecutive points.

"Sam gave us a huge run, which we needed to change the momentum," Horn said. "Our hitters and blockers got more involved after that and we were able to put together some nice runs."

Gabby Sullivan, a returning starter from last year, had seven kills on the night, with newcomer Kayla Faldet recording six. Sullivan was recently named the ICCAC player of the week.

Lexi Green, Abby Lohrmann and Libby Zorn all had three kills, with Hannah Murray adding two. The Tritons finished with seven aces, six solo blocks and 14 assisted blocks, including six by Faldet.

Green had three solo blocks and Zorn two. Lohrmann also recorded a team-high 19 assists.

"I think we are kind of where we expected to be through nine matches," Horn said. "Our strength of schedule really cranks up in the next week and will be a good test for us.  But you can't complain about being 9-0."

Fort Dodge Senior High graduate Liza Hatcher had 10 digs, as did Kryssie Okinaka. Michele O'Haver had 16 digs.

After committing seven attacking errors in the first set, the Tritons had just five in the final two.

Southwestern had four aces and two blocks, but also committed 10 serving errors. The Spartans are assisted by Todd Lorensen, who guided the men's basketball team to a national title this past winter.

Iowa Central returns to action this Friday and Saturday when they play four matches in two days in North Dakota against Bismarck State, Lake Region State, Williston State and Jamestown JV.

Two other ICCAC teams are ranked, with Kirkwood sitting at No. 11 and DMACC at No. 19. The Tritons play the Eagles on Oct. 11 in Cedar Rapids and the Bears on Oct. 25 in Boone.