COLUMBUS — It took nearly 400 total attacks Wednesday night to finally separate NJCAA Division I, No. 4 Iowa Western and Division II, No. 3 Central Community College.
After falling behind 2-1 in the match, the Reivers rallied to beat the Raiders 25-21, 22-25, 22-25, 27-25, 15-8 at Raider Fieldhouse.
“I was really proud of my entire team,” Central head coach Mary Young said. “We played hard and went to battle tonight.”
Central (19-3) had chances to close out the match in the fourth set, twice reaching match point. But each time, Iowa Western, which has handed CCC two of its three losses, answered with a big play.
When the fifth set rolled around, the Reivers took control, and ultimately, the match. Irina Alekseeva led Iowa Western (17-1) with a game-high 23 kills.
Central got good performances from up and down its lineup, including Maeghan Pieper’s team-best 16 kills on a .368 hitting percentage.
“I can’t say enough about Maeghan Pieper’s effort for the night,” Young said. “She gave Iowa Western fits at the net and was a constant threat in the match.”
Jacie Laetsch and Amber Anderson both had double-doubles for Central — Laetsch with 10 kills and 19 digs and Anderson with 14 kills and 10 digs.
Maddie Davis had a team-high 22 digs and three aces.
“Maddie Davis kept a ton of balls in play and she served extremely well,” Young said. “(She) was a great spark for us in the back court.”
Chainey Tompkin recorded six solo blocks for the Raiders.
Central plays a pair of ranked teams this weekend at the Johnson County Volleyball Challenge. The Raiders face Des Moines Area Community College and No. 12 Kirkwood Community College on Friday and No. 8 Cowley County Community College and Johnson County Community College on Saturday.