Three NCAA Div. III national titles
PELLA — Stalling the Grinnell College offense, the Central College volleyball team rolled up a 25-11, 25-18, 25-20 victory over the Pioneers Wednesday night.
Central (2-3) held Grinnell (0-6) to a .105 hitting percentage. The Dutch opened with a fiery .412 hitting percentage and ended the night hitting .222. Coach Kent Clayberg is excited to see his team improve.
“I am very pleased to see us comeback from traveling and challenges over the weekend,” said Clayberg. “They competed with great energy and confidence. Our offense is very difficult to run. It requires decisive decisions and bold movements. This was a strong step forward.”
Right-side hitter Emily Stoakes (sophomore, Gladbrook, Gladbrook-Reinbeck HS) had a team-high seven kills and middle hitter Hannah Welter (junior, Lincoln, Neb., Lincoln SW HS) followed closely with six kills. Outside hitters Jessica Laflin (junior, Phoenix, Ariz., Horizon Honors), Sara Snead (junior, Altoona, Southeast Polk HS) and Nicole Ewoldt (freshman, Hull, Boyden Hull HS) each marked four kills.
“Emily was a good blocking presence and a very strong threat along the net,” Clayberg said. “Our middle and outsides were very aggressive and hitting a lot of different shots throughout the night.”
Setter Claire Stewart (junior, Colorado Springs, Colo., Classical Academy) tallied a match-high 18 assists and had eight digs. Libero Tori Zempel (sophomore, La Porte City, Union Community HS) led the team in digs with 10. Defensive specialist Courtney Allen (junior, Grinnell) served up four aces and had six digs.
“Our defense progressed during the match,” said Clayberg. “They all played very well and Dzenita Bahtic (defensive specialist, junior, Urbandale) really added a great energy to the court.”
Central has the weekend off before returning to action on Tuesday against William Penn University (2-6) at 7:30 p.m. at the P.H. Kuyper Gymnasium.
“Tonight was a good, solid team effort all around,” Clayberg said. “We look forward to progressing and taking more steps forward.”