Tritons sweep at home

Overcoming a rocky start, the Iowa Central volleyball team regained its winning form here Wednesday night.

Snapping a six-match losing streak, the Tritons (13-15 overall, 5-2 in the ICCAC) prevailed over Iowa Lakes in four games at Hodges Fieldhouse.

Scores were 23-25, 25-23, 25-11 and 25-12.

“We were playing some good ball before we went down to Southeastern (on Sept. 25), but then we kind of hit the teeth of our schedule,” ICCC head coach Fredrick Wagner said. “Even though we had some really good moments against tough competition, our young team didn’t take that stretch very well, so it was good to come back here and get another (win).”

After leading by a single point midway through the see-saw opening game, which featured a combined 17 ties and lead changes, the Tritons watched the Lakers (3-22, 3-4) gain control behind a mini 9-6 burst.

“We obviously didn’t play our best in that first set, but it’s not as if Iowa Lakes doesn’t have talent,” said Wagner. “They’re just short on players this year (the Lakers suited only seven players Wednesday), and we were finally able to pull away as the night went on.”

Tied at 21-21 late in Game 2, Iowa Central reeled off four of the last six points following a key timeout. Two Kelci Larson kills and another from Nicolette Lavulo helped seal the deal for the Tritons.

Iowa Central was never seriously challenged in either of the final two sets, closing on runs of 11-1 and 10-4, respectively.

Freshman outside hitter Kaila Hurley delivered 11 kills for Iowa Central, while classmate middle blocker Kennedi Simon registered eight kills and 3.5 blocks. Nichole Oberfoell (23 digs), Emma Irvin (six aces) and Sarah Groff (six kills and three blocks) were the other top performers for the home team.

“Kennedi told me going in she was expecting to get 15 kills, and I thought she really played well,” Wagner said. “Sarah also came in and gave us a little stability on the right side. Nichole was solid like always, too, defensively.”

With the loss, short-handed Iowa Lakes has now dropped 11 straight matches.

Next action for the Tritons is Friday at the DMACC Invitational in Boone. Iowa Central will face Highland (Ill.) in its tournament opener at 3 p.m.