Facing two nationally ranked top 10 squads Friday, Marshalltown Community College volleyball coach Chris Brees knew things would be tough for his Tigers.
With little depth and not a lot of height, the Tigers went into the Iowa Community College Athletic Conference Showcase as big underdogs and dropped their first two matches to No. 10 Des Moines Area Community College and No. 9 Iowa Central Community College.
MCC just didnt't have enough horses to match up with the Bears or Tritons and lost both matches in straight sets. DMACC took down MCC 25-19, 25-23, 27-25, while Iowa Central claimed a 25-20, 25-16, 25-13 win over the Tigers.
T-R PHOTO BY TROY HYDE
MCC sophomore setter Tanya Literski had 24 assists, 11 digs and six blocks in the Tigers’ three-game loss to No. 9 Iowa Central on Friday during action at the ICCAC Showcase at the Student Activity Center.
"We knew each one of those teams were going to be bigger than us, and they just have more guns than we do right now," Brees said. "We knew it was going to be tough to take games from those two programs."
The Tigers have been playing all season with only eight players in Brees' first season of a rebuilding project. Two of those players are currently playing basketball, too, and two others are also softball players.
Brees said his team has been able to get through the physical fatigue that comes with little depth, but the mental fatigue has been too much to overcome at times.
ICCAC Volleyball Showcase
At Marshalltown Community College
DMACC 25-25-27, MCC 19-23-25
Iowa Central 22-25-25-16-15, Kirkwood 25-16-16-25-13
SWCC 25-25-25, Clinton 18-15-7
Iowa Lakes 25-25-25, Southeastern 6-5-13
Ellsworth 25-25-25, NIACC 13-14-8
Iowa Central 25-25-25, MCC 20-16-13
DMACC 25-25-25, Southeastern 8-14-8
Kirkwood 25-25-25, SWCC 15-15-18
Ellsworth 22-17-25-34-15, Iowa Lakes 25-25-20-32-10
NIACC 25-25-25, Clinton 12-17-23
9 a.m. - Clinton vs. Iowa Lakes; MCC vs. Southwestern
11 a.m. - NIACC vs. Southeastern; DMACC vs. Kirkwood
1 p.m. - Clinton vs. Iowa Central; Ellsworth vs. Southwestern
3 p.m. - Kirkwood vs. NIACC; Iowa Lakes vs. MCC
5 p.m. - Iowa Central vs. Southeastern; DMACC vs. Ellsworth
"We are more mentally fatigure because we have players on this team who haven't been put in the best situations in high school," Brees said. "When things don't go well you can tell it affects them mentally. And we have very few subs to work with."
Brees was happy with his team's play overall against DMACC in the 11 a.m. opener. The Tigers played two close games with the nationally ranked Bears but had some mental miscues that plagued them in the final result.
"When we started to execute better in game two, we were able to take them off their game a little bit," Brees said. "We missed three straight serves to end the match. The mental errors really hurt us."
Mady Van Metre led the Tigers with 20 kills and eight digs in the opener, while Katelyn Yauslin had eight kills. Tanya Laterski delivered 33 assists and Ashley Salgado finished with 19 digs and three aces. MCC (14-22) finished with five aces in the match.
MCC did not play as well against Iowa Central in its afternoon match. The Tritons jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the opening game as Gabriela Reyes recorded back-to-back aces.
Van Metre and Sam Oujiri kept the Tigers close with a pair of kills each, but MCC couldn't get over the hump. They trailed by as many as 11 in the game and never got closer than four after a late rally.
MCC fought off game point during a 7-0 spurt that featured two blocks by Laterski and several errors by the Tritons. Iowa Central's Nadia Morneau finally put the game away.
The Tigers jumped out to a faster start in game two and stayed within a few points before a couple long Triton runs created some separation on the scoreboard.
Iowa Central used five straight kills from Brittany Vaske and Alicia Moreno to take a 15-7 lead. MCC closed the gap a few times but could not hold off a strong performance from Moreno in the game two loss.
"Iowa Central is mentally tough, and they don't let errors bother them," Brees said. "You have to put them away early because they just keep coming at you."
Iowa Central jumped out to an early 3-0 in the third and final set, but Yauslin turned in back-to-back kills before two straight putaways by Van Metre gave MCC a 6-4 lead.
Breanna Cortez kept the Tigers in front with a hard blast, but the Tritons claimed four straight points to take an 11-8 lead.
MCC stayed within striking distance a little bit longer, but Iowa Central eventually pulled away, scoring eight straight points to close out the victory.
The run featured a kill and a block by Vaske and two kills from Morneau.
"We just didn't play clean enough to take a game from them," Brees said.
Literski's double-double of 24 assists, 11 digs and six blocks led the way for MCC, which will play Southwestern and Iowa Lakes today.
Van Metre and Yauslin each had eight kills and Salgado added 17 digs and the team's only ace.
The Tigers played a solid match at the net, often tipping attack shots by Iowa Central hitters. MCC collected 10 blocks in the contest.
The ICCAC Showcase continues today at the Tiger Activities Center. MCC will play Southwestern at 9 a.m. and then takes on Iowa Lakes at 3 p.m.
Brees feels more comfortable about his chances against Iowa Lakes and Southwestern than he did against the nationally ranked programs the Tigers faced Friday. ... Salgado and Van Metre are both in the middle of basketball season as well as finishing up with volleyball. Alyssa Whitmore and Literski also are on the Tiger softball team. ... Brees said matches in the ICCAC Showcase will count toward conference standings and regional seeding.