Three NCAA Div. III national titles
WISCONSIN DELLS, WIS. — The Central College volleyball team rallied to a 1-1 start to the Northland Athletic Conference Challenge, dropping the first match against Concordia University (Wis.) in four sets before trumping Aurora University (Ill.) in five sets.
Central (5-10 overall, 0-2 conference) lost to Concordia 21-25, 25-19, 25-21, 25-22 and claimed victory over Aurora 24-26, 26-24, 25-19, 20-25, 15-7.
“The first match was an incredibly disappointing effort,” he said. “We won the first set handily, but we had too many missed serves and bad passes to win the match.”
Setter Claire Stewart (junior, Colorado Springs, Colo., Classical Academy HS) recorded a career-high 58 assists. Middle hitter Hannah Welter (junior, Lincoln, Neb., Lincoln SW HS) had 13 kills and outside hitter Sara Snead (junior, Altoona, Southeast Polk HS) had 10 kills. Outside hitter Nicole Ewoldt (freshman, Hull, Boyden Hull HS) tallied a team-high 19 digs and libero Tori Zempel (sophomore, La Porte City, Union Community HS) had 16 digs.
In the second match, Clayberg saw sparks of greatness, contributing to the five-set win.
“We were much more active on defense, and our block was stronger at times,” he said. “We did things better as a whole. In particular, our serve receive was more consistent.”
Stewart had 22 assists and setter Madii Maddox (freshman, Tulas, Okla., Bishop Kelley HS) had eight assists and 15 digs. Welter led the team in kills with 12 and Snead had seven kills. Libero Dzenita Bahtic (junior, Urbandale) had a career-high 30 digs while Zempel had 16 digs.
“Today was very hit and miss,” Clayberg said. “We did some things better in the second game, but we still have a lot of work to do.”
Central continues play Saturday against Marian University (Wis.) at noon and Wis.-Lutheran at 4 p.m.