Tritons earn two more wins at nationals

Messenger photo by Britt Kudla: Emily Goodner, a former Manson Northwest Webster standout, had 12 kills in a win over Richard Bland.

CEDAR RAPIDS — The Iowa Central volleyball team will get their shot at revenge here Saturday.

The Tritons continued their run on the consolation side with two wins from inside the Alliant Energy Powerhouse Arena Friday, putting themselves in the semifinals and a date with Pensacola State at 10 a.m.

In the second round of the NJCAA Div. II Championships earlier this week, Pensacola State knocked off Iowa Central in five, advancing to the final four before falling to Cowley.

The Tritons pushed their win streak to three here with wins over ICCAC rival Des Moines Area and Richard Bland.

“Our players have done such a great job staying tough and bouncing back after a heartbreaking first day loss,” ICCC head coach Sara Horn said. “It takes a ton of heart, energy, athleticism and mental toughness to get through this tournament, and they’ve shown that they have just that.

“Richard Bland is the reigning national champs and the team who knocked us out of the running last year so it was even sweeter to get a little revenge on them as well. We’re excited to get another shot at Pensacola State as we knew we had some chances to win on Wednesday that we didn’t capitalize on.”

Iowa Central topped Richard Bland in the consolation quarterfinals in four. Scores were 25-22, 23-25, 25-22 and 25-10.

Former Manson Northwest Webster standout Emily Goodner had a team-high 12 kills with ex-Cougar teammate Olivia Sturgis adding 10. Noemia Chiacchio had nine, Emma Bilhimer seven and Araya Garrison six.

Mercedes Madlock recorded 37 assists and 11 digs with St. Edmond graduate Mya McClain adding 17 digs.

Earlier in the day, the Tritons downed DMACC, who they shared the conference title with, in three by scores of 25-19, 25-23 and 25-11. During the regular season, Iowa Central downed DMACC while also besting them for the regional title on the home floor of the Bears.

Goodner and Chiacchio each had 11 kills with Garrison adding seven and both Sturgis and Bilhimer chipping in six. Madlock had 34 assists and McClain 14 digs with four assists.

Richard Bland advanced by knocking out the other ICCAC co-champion Kirkwood in the consolation third round, 3-1.

Top-seed Cowley and No. 2 Scottsdale will meet for the championship Saturday night. Johnson County and Parkland meet in the other consolation semifinal.


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