MASON CITY, Iowa – When Northeast Community College and North Iowa Area Community College meet on the volleyball court, you are bound to witness an exciting match.
Last season, the Hawks (1-1, 1-1 ICCAC) beat the Trojans in five sets to claim the Region XI-B championship for the fourth year in a row. The win solidified a return trip for the Hawks to the NJCAA DII Volleyball National Tournament in Charleston, W.V.
Thursday night’s regular-season ICCAC match in Mason City, Iowa was no different story. No. 15 NIACC rallied back after the No. 17 Hawks took the first two sets of the match to win the final three, 25-17, 26-24, 20-25, 21-25 and 17-15.
The first two sets solely belonged to Hawks as the Trojans were trying to rebound from costly missed serves and hitting errors. The Hawks had a few errors of their own in the third and fourth sets, allowing the home team to take advantage. The finale was back-and-forth for most of the set until the Trojans began to use their height that disrupted the Hawks’ momentum.
“We played a tough match tonight,” head coach Amanda Schultze said. “Overall, I thought we played well. We struggled to make adjustments when needed and made errors on crucial points. It was fun to see this team come together and play a tough match.”
Payton Weber (Alliance, Neb.) led the Hawks’ attack with 16 kills. She also added 19 digs, while Carly Hirsch (Norfolk, Neb.) had 12 kills. Jamie Bonifas (Blue Hill, Neb.) tallied 38 assists and 20 digs. Alexis Kapales (Jonesboro, Ark.) had 25 digs, while Elizabeth Christensen (Stanton, Neb.) and Hayley Hughes (Burwell, Neb.) had 13 and 10, respectively.
The Hawks continue their conference road stand when they face Hawkeye Community College at 11 a.m. Saturday in Waterloo, Iowa.