The 10th-ranked (NJCAA, Div. II) Iowa Central volleyball team made an emphatic statement on Sophomore Night inside Hodges Fieldhouse Tuesday evening vs. Indian Hills.
With just a handful of matches left before entering postseason play, the Tritons earned their 11th win the last 12, sweeping the Warriors.
Scores were 25-22, 25-17 and 25-17.
Alicia Moreno, one of seven sophomores honored, led Iowa Central (27-9 overall) with 13 kills. Moreno, Nadia Morneau, Marisa Gibson, Meghan Tietze, Marilyn Gutierrez, Gabriela Reyes and Brittany Vaske were all greeted to a warm ovation before the contest began.
"On Sophomore Night, there are always some extra jitters," said Triton first-year head coach Fredrick Wagner. "We started a little slow, but once we got focused, we really played well."
After going down 5-3, Iowa Central reeled off several points to take a lead they would never surrender in the first. Moreno had five kills in that game, as did Morneau.
Moreno is a returning first team All-American from a season ago when the Tritons reached the national tournament. She is currently the No. 2 ranked player in Div. II in kills, while Morneau is 13th.
"The sophomores have done just an excellent job this year," Wagner said. "Alicia, Nadia and Brittany started our triangle, but the other girls have done a great job of stepping up and getting better each day.
"And Gaby, she is just our rock. She's so steady and so skilled."
Morneau finished with seven kills and two ace serves, while Vaske had three blocks and five kills of her own.
The Warriors (21-7) had won eight of their previous 10 entering the contest. Indian Hills earned a home victory over the Tritons earlier in the year in three, while falling in four to Iowa Central during a tournament. Peyton Crosser led them with eight kills.
Next up for the Tritons will be a road tilt at Iowa Lakes on Wednesday. Iowa Central closes out its home season vs. No. 4 (NJCAA, Div. I) Iowa Western on Monday.
"We'll start a program here in the next few days where we focus in on fine-tuning everything for the postseason," Wagner said. "We'll just look to improve and pick up those key points that can determine if you win or lose in the postseason."