Tritons coast in opener

Tritons coast in opener

By: The Messenger


Sara Horn has her team ready for the postseason.

The 16th-ranked Iowa Central volleyball squad had tunnel vision in Wednesday's Region XI-B semifinal against Southeastern. The Tritons (29-9 overall) cruised to a three-set victory over the Blackhawks (24-16), 25-15, 25-18 and 25-16.

"We're pretty focused right now," Horn said. "The girls have the same passion and same goals.

"Our five sophomore leaders (Gabby Sullivan, Lexi Green, Liza Hatcher, Michele O'Haver, Emily Nelson) work well together both on and off the court. They're not going to let any distractions take them away from their mission."

Iowa Central will now face DMACC (19-18) on Saturday in Iowa Falls for the right to advance to the national tournament. Action is set for 2 p.m.

The three-set victory over the Blackhawks was the 17th sweep of the season for the Tritons. Horn's group virtually led throughout.

Sullivan, who is second in the nation in kills, took command early in the contest and recorded 5 of her 10 kills in the first set to set the tone for the Tritons.

"We could stand and talk about Gabby all night. She has so much energy and motivation," Horn said. "She is a great player, but an even better person. She is the first one to practice and the first one to set up the nets and the last one out of the gym.

"Her teammates look up to her, and the coaches trust her."

The Blackhawks put up a fight in the second set, coming out with a 3-1 lead before the Tritons went on a 3-0 and 4-0 run to finally widen the gap at 19-12.

"They are definitely the most improved team in the conference," Horn said. "They have a good record and the first time we beat them (3-0), I think we caught them off guard.

"This was our last home match and regional opener, so I think we came out with a lot of adrenaline."

Green and Libby Zorn had seven and six kills respectively. Abby Lohrmann had 27 assists, and Hatcher — a Fort Dodge Senior High graduate — had three ace serves.

"Abby did a great job of distribution," Horn said. "She found the hitters we wanted and helped set up the offense," Horn said. "Lexi, Liza and Libby all played well, too."

Michelle O'Haver had 12 digs and Kayla Faldet had eight blocks in the victory.