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Tigers persevere through turbulent day

MCC wins twice in own triangular

T-R PHOTO BY ANDREW ABADIE - Marshalltown Community College defenders Marija Egic (9) and Jelena Vucic (13) try for the block against Southeast Community College’s Jaci Hunter (3) during Saturday’s triangular at the Student Activity Center.

The Marshalltown Community College volleyball team took care of business on Saturday as the Tigers hosted Southeast CC and Southeastern CC.

MCC opened the day against Southeast CC (1-8) and made quick work of the Storm in a 25-16, 25-20, 25-6 sweep.

In Set 1, leading 14-11, MCC broke away with an 11-4 run to seal the win. After securing the second set, MCC jumped out to a 13-0 lead in cruising to a 25-6 third set win and sweep.

“We played them twice last year,” interim coach Frank Hanes said. “This was our first time playing them this year. We were tough on serving, kept them out of system a lot and we just sat on their pins with a block. We did pretty good.”

Despite earning a sweep to start the day, MCC found itself in a five-set match against Southeastern CC.

T-R PHOTO BY ANDREW ABADIE - Marshalltown Community College libero Halee Pedro, center, makes a dig in front of teammate Fauneil Olander (4) during Saturday’s trianuglar at the Student Activity Center.

The momentum continued to stay with MCC early in the match as the Tigers won the first and second sets, 25-13 and 25-18.

“We kept our momentum the whole time and we just kept fighting back,” setter Raquel Gonzales said. “Me and my hitters were just clicking. Our service was on. I feel like overall, we were playing well in every aspect of the game.”

However, the Blackhawks rallied after trailing as many by five in the third set and tied it at 21-all. In total, Set 3 had just two lead changes but saw 11 ties as the Tigers conceded 26-24.

“We lost our energy and fell a little,” outside hitter/defensive specialist Hannah Knapke said. “We just got kind of shaken up. They were really going after our lines and our setters, trying to get us out of system. That was kind of hurting us there not being able to be consistent in having our hitters and connecting with them.”

Momentum stayed with Southeastern as the Blackhawks took a 17-10 lead. MCC rallied late with a 4-1 run, but Southeastern closed the set with a 25-20 win.

T-R PHOTO BY ANDREW ABADIE - MCC sophomore outside hitter Elena Yee (1) goes up on the attack during the Tigers’ match against Southeast Community College on Saturday in Marshalltown.

The momentum late in the fourth set carried over in Set 5. The Tigers jumped out to an 8-1 lead and never looked backed, winning the set 15-5 to seal the victory.

“We kind of just said this is kind of do or die,” Gonzales said. “This our last set and we are a team of fighters — we don’t lose the last set. We have to go out strong.”

For Hanes, the win said a lot about his team that persevered over a tough match as well as week.

“Southeastern, this is probably our sixth time playing them in the last two years,” Hanes said. “It’s becoming a bit of a rivalry and we won all of them thankfully. They don’t give up against us and they are tired of losing to us obviously. We just need to keep on it. When it’s a close game they are a tough team to beat. We put pressure early on them in the fifth and luckily it went our way.

“They did a good job. I’m really proud of them for how they handled adversity in the last 48 hours and as a team in general through that fifth set.”

T-R PHOTO BY ANDREW ABADIE

MCC (11-3) and Hawkeye CC converge at a triangular at Wartburg College on Monday night.

T-R PHOTO BY ANDREW ABADIE