Three NCAA Div. III national titles
DUBUQUE—Central College secured the final spot in the six-team Iowa Conference volleyball tournament with a 25-12, 25-15, 23-25, 25-20 victory at the Univ. of Dubuque.
A Dubuque win would have given the Spartans the berth but Central advances with a 4-4 league mark. The Dutch are 22-11 overall.
Outside hitter Michelle Ripperger (senior, Urbandale) had 14 kills while middle hitter Lindsay Jennings (senior, Atkins, Benton HS) had 11 with three blocks. Middle hitter Kiley Meyers (sophomore, Grundy Center) had eight kills and six blocks, including four solos while hitting .316 and right-side hitter Ashley Ellingson (junior, West Des Moines, Valley HS) had seven kills. Setter Maggie Snyder (sophomore, Alexandria, Minn., Rosemount HS) had 38 assists and libero Chelsea Grieger (sophomore, Pella) had 25 digs. Central hit .248 to .060 for Dubuque (8-17 overall, 2-6 conference).
“We looked very strong in the first two sets,” coach Kent Clayberg said. “We didn’t overreact to their defensive adjustments. We just kept doing what was working. The third set was kind of a struggle but it was just a matter of getting back into our groove and we finished the match strong.”
Central will meet the league’s No. 3 seed in a first-round match next Friday, Nov. 6 at regular-season title winner Simpson College in Indianola. The tourney concludes the following day with the champion gaining the league’s automatic berth in the NCAA Division III tournament.
“Our next season starts now,” Clayberg said. “We’ve still got some great goals for the season and we’ve got a chance to pursue them, so we’ll take it as far as we can go and see what happens.”