Three NCAA Div. III national titles
RIPON, WIS.—Central College claimed its second volleyball tournament title in the past two weeks, completing a 4-0 weekend at the Ripon (Wis.) Invitational Saturday.
The Dutch (11-3) outscored Lawrence Univ. (Wis.) 25-20, 25-17, 21-25, 25-17, then took out Carroll Univ. (Wis.) 21-25, 25-19, 26-24, 25-20.
Central had to rally against Carroll in the third set as the Dutch saw a 19-11 lead melt into a 24-21 deficit before scoring the next five points to secure the win.
“We had some hesitant play,” coach Kent Clayberg said. “But then Lindsay Jennings (senior, Atkins, Benton HS) came in and did some clutch serving. She served the last five points.”
Jennings topped the Dutch charts with 14 kills. Fellow middle hitter Haley Brillhart (sophomore, Pella) came off the bench to record 10 kills and hit .450 with two blocks, while outside hitter Michelle Ripperger (senior, Urbandale) had 11 kills. Setter Maggie Snyder (sophomore, Alexandria, Minn., Rosemount HS) had 38 assists and libero Chelsea Grieger (sophomore, Pella) had 30 digs.
Against Lawrence right-side hitter Ashley Ellingson (junior, West Des Moines, Valley HS) had 13 kills and two blocks, Jennings had nine kills and hit .380, outside hitter Amy Golly (sophomore, Ankeny) had eight kills and hit .500, Brillhart had five blocks, Snyder had 40 assists and Grieger had 19 digs.
“We wanted to get smarter and for the most part we played smarter volleyball,” Clayberg said. “I can’t say I’m pleased with our problems in set three (against Carroll) but at the same time, we came back to stick five points in a row to get the win.
“This is another step forward for a team that’s still finding itself.”
After 14 matches, the Dutch finally make their home debut Tuesday, meeting Coe College in a 7:30 p.m. Iowa Conference match at P.H. Kuyper Gymnasium. The Kohawks took a 2-8 record and a 1-1 league mark into Saturday’s action. Central defeated Coe at Cedar Rapids last season in four sets.
“It will be nice to get some rest and have some hometown support,” Clayberg said. “The players are excited about it.”