Three NCAA Div. III national titles
WHITEWATER, WIS. — The Central College volleyball squad dropped two more matches at the Univ. of Wis.-Whitewater Invitational Saturday.
“The weekend was a success,” said coach Kent Clayberg. “It isn’t very often you feel like you accomplished something when you start 0-4, but we accomplished very good things.”
The squad dropped the first match of the day against Augsburg (Minn.) in 25-16, 25-23, 25-19. Gustavus Adolphus (Minn.) defeated the Dutch 17-25, 25-17, 21-25, 25-17, 17-19.
Against Augsburg, Jessica Laflin (sophomore, Phoenix, Ariz., Horizon Honors HS) tallied 12 kills while Elizabeth Ihnen (junior, Sheldon) racked up seven kills and three aces. Outside hitter Tess Reinig (senior, Manchester, West Delaware HS) posted four kills. Setter Jill Schildroth (sophomore, Reinbeck, Gladbrook-Reinbeck HS) had 25 assists and seven digs. Libero Emily Huegel (senior, Bettendorf, Pleasant Valley HS) had 7 digs.
“Jess Laflin was very strong this weekend on the outside, and it was delightful to have Tess Reinig playing again,” Clayberg said. “She played well and brought back the fiery Tess we know so well.”
Central suffered a setback with an injury to starting setter Schildroth in the second set against Gustavus Adolphus. Claire Stewart (sophomore, Colorado Springs, Colo., Classical Academy HS) stepped in and distributed 29 assists. Middle hitter Ashley Pedersen (senior, Humboldt) had 13 kills and Reinig contributed 12 digs, 15 kills and 2 aces. Libero Tori Zempel (freshman, La Porte City, Union Community HS) tallied a match-high 33 digs.
“There’s a price we pay to be good, and we paid it this weekend. The way we played in the first and fourth match over the weekend were night and day,” Clayberg said. “In virtually every position we made huge strides.
“It would have been nice to have a couple of wins, but we walk away with our heads held high. We are optimistic for the future.”
Central competes at the Bethel (Minn.) on Friday and Saturday. The Dutch will face Northland (Wis.) at 4 p.m. and Carleton (Minn.) at 6 p.m.