MOUNT PLEASANT – The Iowa Wesleyan College volleyball team sent five seniors out in style in its final home match of the season, defeating Mount Mercy University in three sets in Midwest Collegiate Conference play at Ruble Arena Monday.
The Tigers pulled out the first game and then powered through the final two sets for a 25-22, 25-17, 25-15 win over the Mustangs. Wesleyan improved to 10-24 overall this year and also edged ahead of Mount Mercy (15-17 overall) in the final MCC regular season standings.
With the win IWC tied Mount Mercy for seventh place in the conference standings, as both teams finished with matching 2-6 league marks. Wesleyan wins the tiebreaker with the Mustangs based on Monday’s head-to-head result, and the Tigers will be the #7 seed in the upcoming Midwest Collegiate Conference Tournament.
In a season that has included a number of close losses, including a 0-4 mark in five-set matches, the Tigers on this night came through in a close first set to gain the upper hand early on. IWC saw an early five-point lead dissipate as the visitors rallied for a 20-18 lead late. But the Tigers came back with the help of four late attack errors and two more service errors by Mount Mercy, finishing with six of the final seven points to win the set.
Wesleyan then got stronger as the match went on, hitting a solid .265 on attacks in the second set and jumping out to a big lead midway through the set. The Tigers also hit .179 in the third set and again raced to a big lead early on as the Mustangs continued to spray the ball all over. Mount Mercy never finished with a positive attack percentage in any set, including negative marks in the first and third sets, and also had trouble with the Tigers’ block. IWC finished with nine blocks in the match, including seven from B.J. Wagy (Sr.-Cedar Rapids, Iowa) and five more from Beth Guzman (Jr.-San Bernardino, Calif.).
The Mustangs tried to make one last attempt to get back in the match, getting within 19-15 late in the third set. IWC finished with the final six points of the match, though, as Wagy served out the final five points. Katie Jammer (Sr.-Green Bay, Wis.) had a pair of kills in the late run and Allegra Tennis (Sr.-Madison, Wis.) and Kendra Zimmerman (Sr.-Green Bay, Wis.) closed things out with a block on match point.
Megan McVey (Jr.-Fort Worth, Texas) led Iowa Wesleyan with 12 kills and a .296 attack percentage. Jammer had 12 digs, McVey added 11 and Alexi Holmes (So.-Richland, Iowa) chipped in 10 digs. Zimmerman also had 27 assists. The match was the final one at home for Jammer, Tennis, Wagy, Zimmerman and Andress Van Zile (Sr.-Cedar Rapids, Iowa).
Brittney Thomas led the Mustangs with eight kills. Janae Rosien had 15 assists and Beth Ripperger led MMU with 16 digs.
The Tigers now will face second-seeded Grand View University in an MCC Tournament quarterfinal Saturday in Des Moines at a time to be announced. The Vikings defeated IWC in four sets in their first meeting in Des Moines on Sept. 8.
Box score IWC 3 MMU 0