Three NCAA Div. III national titles
WHITEWATER, WIS.—Central College picked up a volleyball win before tackling the No. 1-rated squad in the NCAA Division III at the Wis.-Whitewater Invitational Friday.
The Dutch breezed past Carroll (Wis.) 25-11, 25-14, 25-18, dropping the Pioneers to 11-14. But top-ranked Wis.-Oshkosh stretched its unbeaten record to 29-0 with a 25-19, 25-22, 25-18 sweep of Central.
Setter Maggie Snyder (sophomore, Alexandria, Minn., Rosemount HS) had 35 assists, nine digs and five kills against Carroll. Middle hitter Lindsay Jennings (senior, Atkins, Benton HS) had 10 kills while outside hitter Michelle Ripperger (senior, Urbandale) had eight and middle hitter Haley Brillhart (sophomore, Pella) had seven.
Ripperger had 12 kills against Wis.-Oshkosh and outside hitter Caitlin Kouba (sophomore, Dubuque, Wahlert HS) had seven. Snyder had 30 assists and 10 digs while Grieger had 17 digs for the Dutch (19-10).
“Michelle Ripperger was outstanding tonight,” coach Kent Clayberg said. “She was very consistently aggressive, did a nice job of adjusting to sets and was really swinging hard.”
Clayberg said Central turned in a sturdy defensive performance in both matches and cited back-row players Chelsea Grieger (sophomore, Pella), Nichole McGrew (junior, Elk Run Heights, Don Bosco HS), Jenna Gillette (senior, Caledonia, Ill., Belvidere HS) and Liz Sanders (sophomore, Clive, Valley HS).
The Dutch showed some spark coming off a disappointing defeat at Loras Tuesday, Clayberg said, and held their own against Wis.-Oshkosh.
“We realized we can score, we can block, we can defend against the best team in the country,” he said. “We just weren’t consistent enough.
“I was pleased with the effort, we just got beat by a better team. They made fewer mistakes than we did. But we also did a lot of really good things, too.”
Saturday Central tackles the No. 8-rated host school, Wis.-Whitewater, at 10 a.m. before meeting St. Norbert (Wis.) at noon. St. Norbert was swept by Wis.-Whitewater Friday and took an 18-7 record into a match with Coe later in the night. Wis.-Whitewater entered a Friday match with Wis.-Oshkosh at 22-5.