Three NCAA Div. III national titles
PELLA— Central College raced to a 2-0 lead but the University of Dubuque stormed back to deal the Dutch a 14-25, 23-25, 25-16, 25-21, 15-9 Iowa Conference volleyball loss Tuesday night.
Dubuque (9-8 overall, 2-1 conference) opened the third set with a 4-1 lead, turned it into a 15-7 advantage and maintained control the rest of the night. It was Central’s first loss to the Spartans since 1996.
Central outhit Dubuque .253 to .233 and had eight team blocks. The Dutch recorded a sizzling .500 attack in the opening set, making just one error in 32 attempts with 17 kills.
Outside hitter Jessica Laflin (sophomore, Phoenix, Ariz., Horizon Honors HS) notched 14 kills while middle hitters Hannah Welter (sophomore, Lincoln, Neb., SW HS) and Ashley Pedersen (senior, Humboldt) had 13 each. Pedersen also had five blocks. Setter Claire Stewart (sophomore, Colorado Springs, Colo., Classical Academy) had 49 assists. Libero Tori Zempel (freshman, La Porte City, Union Community HS) tallied 23 digs and defensive specialist Emily Eberhardt (sophomore, Sperry, Mediapolis HS) had 12.
The Dutch (3-11 overall, 0-3 conference) have a week to regroup with an open weekend. Central returns to the court Oct. 3 to meet Simpson College at 7:30 p.m. in P.H. Kuyper Gymnasium. Simpson is 3-11 overall with a 1-1 league record heading into Wednesday’s match against No. 15 Wartburg College.