Tritons suffer first loss

The top-ranked Iowa Central volleyball team bounced back from their first loss of the season here Saturday, finishing 1-1 on day two of a home invitational.

Following a 3-0 loss to No. 2 Cowley County, the Tritons swept Central-Columbus, moving to 35-1 on the year.

“We knew that Cowley would be a tough opponent, but we always want to challenge ourselves,” Iowa Central head coach Sara Horn said. “They do a lot of really good things and have a quick offense that is hard to replicate in practice. I’m happy we saw it now, though, in person so that we can work on preparing for it if we see them again.”

Cowley took control of the match early in the first set, putting together several quick rallies behind the play of Rachele Tessari and Iva Halacheva. Tessari, from Italy, and Halacheva, from Bulgaria, had 10 kills in the first set and finished the match with 22.

In the third set facing match point, the Tritons reeled off six consecutive points but the Tigers were able to put it away with a kill after a timeout. Like Iowa Central, Cowley has wins over Johnson County, Kirkwood and Des Moines Area this year.

On the year, the Tigers have lost just two sets, with one coming on Friday to DMACC here at the invitational.

Katilyn Steffes had 11 kills and Jori Hajek nine, with Angel Baylark adding seven. Haley Alharithy and Brooke Dobson each added six kills, with Alesha Johnson recording 32 assists. Baylyn Johnson had 20 digs, Hajek 12 and Steffes nine.

“We had trouble getting into a rhythm,” Horn said. “And we really couldn’t get (Cowley) out of rotation.

“It was really nice to have another match after that so we didn’t have to sit on our first loss all weekend.”

The Tritons came out and handled Central-Columbus as Steffes had 11 kills with both Baylark and Alharithy adding 10. Alesha Johnson had 35 assists, Baylyn Johnson 13 digs and Hajek added four kills with 15 digs.

“They are a good team that is well-coached and always tough,” Horn said. “It was nice to see us play a relatively clean match and get the win.”

Iowa Central will return to ICCAC play with the chance to secure a fourth consecutive league title on Wednesday when they host Northeast.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $4.62/week.

Subscribe Today