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Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 22, 2018

Iowa Wesleyan volleyball falls to Knox College

Tigers keep it close in first two sets, Prairie Fire runs away in third
Sep 22, 2017
Photo by: Andy Krutsinger Sydney Ellsworth goes up for a kill attempt against Knox College in Iowa Wesleyan’s home opener on Thursday night.

By Andy Krutsinger, Mt. Pleasant News


The Iowa Wesleyan volleyball team made its return to Ruble Arena after a nine-game road trip on Thursday night to take on Knox College in non-conference play.

The Tigers hung with the Prairie Fire for the first two games, falling 25-19 in both but Knox cruised 25-8 in the third set and IW dropped their home opener 3-0.

Knox opened up the first set with an 11-4 run. A kill by Jordan Miller sparked a big IW run and the Tigers were eventually able to cut the lead to one on three different occasions, the latest of which was 17-16.

The Prairie Fire, however, were able to pull away at the end of the first set, closing it out on an 8-3 run.

The Tigers held a small lead for the majority of the second set but they could never stretch their lead to anymore than two points. Gabby Smith gave IW a 17-15 advantage with a kill late in the set but the Prairie Fire was able to string together seven points in a row to open up a five-point lead of their own, at 22-17, and the Tigers could never recover.

IW ran out of steam a bit in the third set. Knox was able to jump out to an early 10-4 lead, stretch it to double-digits and eventually score the last seven points of the night to close out the contest.

“The big thing is that we played with a lot of fire the first two sets and we have been kind of missing that lately so that was nice to see,” IW head coach B.J. Wagy said after the game. “In the third set, I think our energy went down a little bit.”

The Tigers spread the ball around enough to get seven players in the kills column. Sydney Ellsworth led the way with eight kills. Taylor Payne ended the night with seven.

Miller and Lida Landre each had four kills on the night. Hunter Clark finished with three kills. Smith had two aces and a kill, and Ariel Smale had 23 assists and one kill.

The Tigers fell to 1-9 with the loss. They will take on Greenville University and Monmouth College in a home triangular on Saturday, Sept. 23, beginning at 11 a.m.

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