Three NCAA Div. III national titles
COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.-The Central College volleyball team stumbled on the second day at the Molten Volleyball Colorado College Invitational, losing to Augsburg College (Minn.) and the University of Mass.-Boston.
Augsburg (3-0) defeated the Dutch 25-15, 25-22, 26-24 before Mass.-Boston (1-2) closed out Central’s invitational 25-17, 25-21, 29-27.
The Dutch struggled to find offensive support early versus the Auggies, hitting .100 in the first set and .109 in the second set. Central upped its attack percentage to .154 in the third set, but was unable to score key points in the closing moments.
Outside hitter Sara Snead (junior, Altoona, Southeast Polk HS) led the Central attack with eight kills and three blocks. Setter Jill Schildroth (junior, Reinbeck, Gladbrook-Reinbeck HS) was the team leader in assists with 10. Libero Tori Zempel (sophomore, La Porte City, Union Community HS) posted a team-high 17 digs.
The Dutch recorded seven service aces and eight blocks, but Augsburg held a significant advantage in kills (44-30) and assists (40-23).
“The first match was tough,” coach Kent Clayberg said. “We played pretty well on the defensive side, so we felt OK about it.”
Central again struggled early offensively versus Mass.-Boston, hitting .024 and .000 in the first two sets, respectively. The Dutch rebounded in the third to hit .150 and committed only six errors, but the Beacons held on for the extended-set win.
Middle hitter Hannah Welter (junior, Lincoln, Neb., Lincoln SW HS) was a bright spot for the Dutch, with nine kills and only two errors on 19 attacks (.368 attack percentage) with four blocks. Setter Claire Stewart (junior, Colorado Springs, Colo., Classical Academy) accounted for 19 of the 28 Central assists. Defensive specialist Dzenita Bahtic (junior, Urbandale) had 13 digs.
The Dutch once again led in blocks (6-2) and were even in service aces (6-6), but Mass.-Boston held a significant advantage in kills (44-31) and assists (42-28).
“The second match was a back-to-back match and we came out a bit lethargic,” Clayberg said. “We did not get into a good rhythm, which was a bit frustrating.
“Finishing the tournament with two losses today was not great, but the level of volleyball out here was very high. We played strong defensively and ran our offense at the tempo we wanted to run it. The whole tournament was a good, competitive battle.”
Central (1-3) is back in action Wednesday in its 2013 home opener versus Grinnell (0-5). First serve is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in P.H. Kuyper Gymnasium.