Three NCAA Div. III national titles
ST. LOUIS, MO.—Still at less than full strength, the Central College volleyball team split a pair of matches Friday at the Washington-St. Louis (Mo.) Invitational volleyball tourney.
The Dutch (15-8) defeated Wis.-La Crosse 25-21, 23-25, 25-23, 25-18 before getting swept by No. 5 Washington-St. Louis (Mo.) 25-22, 25-13, 25-16. Wis.-La Crosse tumbled to 4-16 while Washington is 17-3.
Outside hitter Michelle Ripperger (senior, Urbandale), who has been nursing an injury, was held out of the opener, as was right-side hitter Ashley Ellingson (junior, West Des Moines, Valley HS), who has been sidelined for more than a week.
“It wasn’t the prettiest match but we got the job done,” coach Kent Clayberg said.
Ripperger played in the second match but Washington survived a strong Central rally in the first set before completing the sweep.
“When we were in system we scored pretty well,” Clayberg said. “But we were too reactive. We were about a half second slow and spent a lot of time scrambling to keep balls alive instead of attacking.”
Against Wis.-La Crosse, middle hitter Lindsay Jennings (senior, Atkins, Benton HS) had 12 kills while outside hitter AmyGolly (sophomore, Ankeny) had 11 kills and three blocks, middle hitter Haley Brillhart (sophomore, Pella) had 10 kills and three blocks and outside hitter Tess Reinig (freshman, Manchester, West Delaware HS) had six kills. Setter Maggie Snyder (sophomore, Alexandria, Minn., Rosemount HS) had 38 assists and 15 digs while libero Chelsea Grieger (sophomore, Pella) had 25 digs.
Brillhart had six kills and two blocks against Washington while Ripperger had six kills, Snyder had 18 assists with 11 digs and Reinig had 14 digs.
“Tess (Reinig) did a nice job,” Clayberg said. “She started her first collegiate match against La Crosse and did well and she also was swinging well against Washington.”
Central completes play in the abbreviated tourney Saturday at 11 a.m., meeting Elmhurst College (Ill.). Central hasn’t faced the Blue Jays since 1999. They’re 10-10 after also defeating Wis.-La Crosse and falling to Washington.
In an addition to the schedule, the Dutch then make a quick trip to nearby Webster Univ. (Mo.) for a 1 p.m. match. The Gorloks are 11-7.