Three NCAA Div. III national titles
PELLA—Central College struggled to find a consistent rhythm Tuesday night, suffering a 25-17, 25-18, 25-23 volleyball loss to Cornell College.
The Rams limited Central to .121 hitting efficiency, its second lowest mark of the season. The Dutch also committed nine serving errors.
“We were inconsistent in the fundamentals of the game,” coach Kent Clayberg said. “It was hard to string any points together and we always felt like it was one step forward, two steps back.”
Setter Maggie Snyder (senior, Alexandria, Minn., Jefferson HS) had 17 assists and five kills, hitting .444. Outside hitter Amy Golly (senior, Ankeny), right-side hitter Caitlin Kouba (senior, Dubuque, Wahlert HS) and middle-hitter Kiley Meyers (senior, Grundy Center) had five kills each. Libero Chelsea Grieger (senior, Pella) tallied 15 digs.
“It wasn’t a bold night for us,” Clayberg said. “We became predictable and got slower offensively as the match went on.”
But Clayberg was encouraged by a lift from the bench.
“I thought some of the younger players we brought in did a nice job,” Clayberg said. “Freshman Jess Laflin (middle hitter, Phoenix, Ariz., Horizon Honors HS) came in and gave us a burst of energy.”
Central drops to 18-9 overall with a 4-3 league mark while Cornell improves to 20-5 overall and 3-3 in the conference. The Dutch, along with Coe, Wartburg and Loras, have already clinched a spot in the six-team league tournament beginning early November.
“We have one more weekend tournament and one more chance in the conference to get our feet back on the ground before the league tournament,” Clayberg said.
Central competes at the Wis.-La Crosse Invitational Friday and Saturday before wrapping up the conference schedule against Wartburg next Tuesday. The Dutch meet Loras (9-17) for a third time this season Friday at 5 p.m. and face Wis.-Superior (12-13) at 7 p.m.