TOLEDO, Ohio - The fourth-seeded Iowa Central volleyball team settled for a split on the opening day of the NJCAA Div. II National Tournament Thursday at the Owens Community College gym.
After sweeping No. 13 seed Monroe in their opening match by scores of 25-12, 25-20 and 25-21, the ninth-ranked Tritons (35-11 overall) suffered a five-game setback to tournament host and No. 12-seeded Owens in the quarterfinals, 25-20, 23-25, 26-28, 25-17, 15-8.
Iowa Central, which is making its second straight appearance at nationals but just the fourth in program history, was without the services of sophomore outside hitter Nadia Morneau (sprained ankle) for yesterday's action.
"Against Monroe, we passed the ball well and were able to serve effectively," said ICCC first-year head coach Fredrick Wagner. "It was a bit of a struggle, though, with the loss of Nadia, but we did our best to make some adjustments.
"Owens is basically at home in front of a partisan crowd, and they're playing really well right now. It required a great game for us, and (Thursday) just wasn't the day for a great game. I'm still proud of our kids for working really hard and fighting back in several sets."
Awaiting the Tritons in the elimination round this afternoon is Wagner's former team and No. 9 seed Kansas City Kansas (31-7). Start time is scheduled for approximately 2:30 p.m. on Court 2.