Three NCAA Div. III national titles
INDIANOLA—Despite an early first-set win, the Central College volleyball team dropped its fourth conference match of the season against Simpson College Wednesday night.
The Dutch came out strong, hitting .289 percent but failed to keep the momentum rolling and lost in four sets 21-25, 25-22, 25-17, 25-22. Central falls to 6-17 overall and 0-4 in conference play.
After the first set, Central traded points with the Storm (14-3 overall, 2-2 conference) for the rest of the match, but rarely took the lead.
“This is a recurring theme,” said Coach Kent Clayberg. “We start playing loose and smart and then establish a sense of control, and then we give it away.
“This is a team that is searching for its competitive spirit,” he said. “Once we find it, things can change, but it has been evasive so far.”
Outside hitter Nicole Ewoldt (freshman, Hull, Boyden Hull HS) led the Dutch attack with 12 kills. Outside hitter Sara Snead (junior, Altoona, Southeast Polk HS) had nine kills while right-side hitter Emily Stoakes (sophomore, Gladbrook, Gladbrook-Reinbeck HS) recorded seven. Ewoldt also added six digs.
“I thought Nicole really stepped up,” Clayberg said. “It was the first varsity match that she started, and she played hard.”
Setters Claire Stewart (junior, Colorado Springs, Colo. Classical Academy HS) and Madii Maddox (freshman, Tulsa, Okla., Bishop Kelley HS) tallied 20 and 12 assists, respectively. Libero Dzenita Bahtic (junior, Urbandale) sprawled for 30 digs and defensive specialist Tori Zempel (sophomore, La Porte City, Union Community HS) had 11 digs.
“Dzenita had a strong defensive game,” said Clayberg. “Tori also played really well. Everyone had good moments, but we didn’t have those moments during big plays.”
The Dutch have the week to rest before facing conference-opponent Buena Vista University (12-7 overall, 1-3 conference) on Tuesday at the P.H. Kupyer Gymnasium at 7:30 p.m.
“I believe in this team,” said Clayberg. “They are capable. Once they accept that, everything changes.”