Three NCAA Div. III national titles
PELLA—Cornell College ended a 22-year drought against the Central College volleyball team with a 25-18, 25-21, 26-24 Iowa Conference decision Tuesday.
It was Cornell’s first win over the Dutch since a five-set decision at Mount Vernon Oct. 19, 1987 and ended a 20-match Central win streak.
Cornell (15-3 overall, 3-1 conference) got 17 kills from Laura Dudgeon.
“We got out of system and we didn’t pass well,” coach Kent Clayberg said. “If one facet of our game isn’t on, we let it affect the rest of our game.”
Outside hitter Michelle Ripperger (senior, Urbandale) had 14 kills and hit .379 for Central (12-4 overall, 1-2 conference).
“Michelle Ripperger was outstanding,” Clayberg said. “She did a nice job. And (outside hitter) Caitlin Kouba (sophomore, Dubuque, Wahlert HS) stepped into a starting role because of an injury and responded fairly well.”
Right-side hitter Ashley Ellingson (junior, West Des Moines, Valley HS) had nine kills while setter Maggie Snyder (sophomore, Alexandria, Minn., Jefferson HS) had 30 assists and libero Chelsea Grieger (sophomore, Pella) had 26 digs.
Central competes in the MIAC-IIAC Border Battle at Loras College in Dubuque this weekend. Friday the Dutch take on Gustavus Adolphus (Minn.) at 2 p.m. and No. 19-ranked St. Benedict (Minn.) at 6 p.m. Saturday Central meets No. 6 St. Thomas (Minn.) at 9 a.m. and No. 17 Concordia-Moorhead (Minn.) at 1 p.m.
“Our only option is to get better,” Clayberg said.