Reivers run through MCC in 3

Tiger volleyball swept at home by third-ranked Iowa Western

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON • Marshalltown Community College hitter Jesenia Colbert (11) delivers a strike while Iowa Western setter Hina Pua’a attempts a block during the Reivers’ win over the Tigers at MCC on Wednesday.

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON • Marshalltown Community College hitter Jesenia Colbert (11) delivers a strike while Iowa Western setter Hina Pua’a attempts a block during the Reivers’ win over the Tigers at MCC on Wednesday.

The Marshalltown Community College volleyball team faced a daunting task on Wednesday as it welcomed in NJCAA No. 3 Iowa Western Community College for an ICCAC match.

The Reivers outnumbered and outsized the Tigers, which ultimately led Iowa Western to a 3-0 sweep of MCC, 25-17, 25-10, 25-13.

Tigers head coach Justin Hoskins said his girls had to be at their absolute best in order to squeak a win out against one of the nation’s top teams, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case.

“To beat a team like this we have to play our best game and we have to hope that they don’t play their best game,” he said after the loss. “I feel like we played our best game in spurts tonight, but we didn’t play it for the majority of the night.”

Both teams had a bit of a slow start at the MCC Student Activities Center, with the Reivers (19-1, 3-0) eventually opening a 10-6 lead in the first set. That lead would quickly grow to 22-10, but after a timeout from Hoskins the Tigers (15-8, 0-3) showed new life. Though they would relinquish the set, MCC did end on a 7-3 run to lose 25-17.

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON • Marshalltown Community College setter Jelena Dukic (7) sets up a pass for hitter Darrien Nelson (3) during the Tigers’ loss to Iowa Western on Wednesday.

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON • Marshalltown Community College setter Jelena Dukic (7) sets up a pass for hitter Darrien Nelson (3) during the Tigers’ loss to Iowa Western on Wednesday.

Iowa Western head coach Alicia Williams said her team was a bit off due to a long break since its previous game, and the Tigers play a brand of volleyball that they aren’t used to defending.

“We haven’t played a match since last Wednesday, so I think we were a little bit flat and we weren’t super consistent,” Williams said. “Our block was off tonight, but I thought we passed well but we missed more serves than I would have liked. Over all I think that we play two different ways, they play a really fast ball and low ball while we are a high ‘go jump and get it’ kind of team. I think it’s always hard to play a team that plays differently than you, so I though over all our girls did ok just adjusting and making some changes and we got a lot of good players in for good reps.”

MCC continued its run through the beginning of the second, opening up with a 5-2 lead over the Reivers. Iowa Western finally woke up though, which spelled the end of any chance the Tigers had.

The Reivers would finish the second set on a 23-5 run to put MCC on the brink of another home loss.

Hoskins said what benefited his squad during the run, and what led to big runs by Iowa Western, had more to do with who was on the court than momentum.

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON

“It was simply how we matched up with rotations,” he said. “We have some rotations where our blocking is not as good as it is in other rotations, and when we had to go through those weaker blocking rotations, they don’t have any weaknesses we can match it up against. As opposed to some teams where you can strategize which rotation we want to matchup with their rotations, tonight they had six strong rotations and we don’t right now.”

Marshalltown showed a bit more fight in the third set, but not enough to extend the game, as Iowa Western closed out the match with a 25-13 set win.

Jesenia Colbert — who was recently named ICCAC player of the week — and Liliana Spulveda Vera each had five kills to lead the Tigers offensively, followed by Kaci Allgood with four.

The Reivers were led on the offensive end by Caitlyn Cooper with 12 kills, followed by Irina Alekseeva with eight and Morgan Bossler with seven. Williams said that kind of offensive production from her team is something Iowa Western strives for in every match.

“We really love parity and making sure everyone gets a touch so that we can open up some of our pins at the end game,” she said. “Get the middle established at the beginning and then get the pins and our big dogs on the end game, and I thought we did a good job doing that.”

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON

After facing a team as highly ranked as the Reivers, a team can get down on itself if it doesn’t perform up to the standard it is used to. Hoskins said that’s an unavoidable fact, but there are things his girls can take from this loss.

“I think the biggest thing is they just see the level we need to get to,” Hoskins said. “I told them in the locker room that if we want to play past the first weekend in November this is the team we are going to have to be able to beat. It’s up to us on how we want to approach that, if we want to dig down for the last month of the season and say ‘hey, this is our goal,’ or if we say ‘we have to beat that team again, what’s the point?’ I hope we choose to come out tomorrow in practice and compete and fight.”

MCC returns to action on Saturday in the NIACC tournament in Mason City.