Storm volleyball knocks out Cornell, falls to Central in IIAC tournament

by Kristin SimpsonStaff Writer

The Simpson volleyball team defeated Cornell College and lost to Central College at the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament on Friday, Nov. 2 in Pella.

The conference record for the Storm going into the IIAC tournament was 3-3, with a record of 19-13 overall. Simpson (20-13) entered the tournament seeded fourth, facing the fifth seed Cornell College (13-20) in the first round. Simpson triumphed over Cornell 3-0 (30-23, 30-25, 30-26).

Junior Amanda Norelius led the storm with 15 kills and a .400 hitting percentage (15-3-30). Freshman Amy Schuster had 12 kills and six digs. Sophomore Tara Christensen posted 40 assists, nine digs, three kills, and two blocks. Sophomore Brittany Friesth added 11 digs.

Junior Jayna Fischbach thinks the first game of the conference tournament went very well.

“I think we played really well versus Cornell,” Fischbach said. “We came out and we knew we couldn’t play them lightly and knew they’d be a big hurdle.”

According to Christensen, some rough upsets in the regular season put Simpson at the number four seed. She believes that Simpson played well defensively, which helped in their victory over Cornell.

“We each focused on our own goals for ourselves, and when we do that, we play better as a team,” Christensen said.

Sophomore Maggie Schuttler attributes the Storm victory over the Rams to determination and eagerness.

“We definitely were still upset about the Wartburg and Luther games so we were ready to come out defensively and take are of what we needed to take care of,” Schuttler said.

The Storm (20-14) advanced onto the semifinals, facing number one seed Central College (25-8). The Dutch defeated the Storm 3-0 (30-25, 33-31, 30-23). Dutch setter Terri Berger tallied 30 assists, 13 kills, and 11 digs. Allison Ripperger had 12 kills and 13 digs for Central.

Christensen was frustrated with the outcome of the semifinals, saying that their defense struggled more, especially against Central’s setter.

“I think we’re used to playing against teams with good hitters,” Christensen said. “We’re not used to defending against a setter.”

Schuster led the Storm with nine kills and five digs. Friesth had 18 digs while Christensen charted 35 assists and eight digs.

Fischbach thought the team did a really good job of jumping out on Central and getting a lead, but they had difficulty maintaining that lead.

“We all want another try at Central,” Fischbach said. “I wish we could try it again because I know we could play better.”

According to Schuttler, those areas that Simpson wishes they could go back and improve were the areas that Central played upon.

“Central took advantage of our weaknesses and they were just ready to win,” Schuttler said.

According to Fischbach, Simpson had set their sights on winning the conference tournament. However, this was not easy with such a young team.

“We’re all trying to figure out what we’re doing,” Fischbach said “We had no one with any real varsity experience.”

According to Fischbach, the team still played hard.

“I think that in both matches we really did a lot better job of playing scrappy and getting balls up that we would normally let fall,” Fischbach said.

Overall, Fischbach claims she is proud of their season, and the levels of hard work and motivation the team showed. With their season now completed, Christensen is already thinking about next year.

“I’m really looking forward to next year because we’ll have everyone back and I think we’ll be stronger,” Christensen said.