PELLA — Overcoming a sluggish start, the Central College volleyball team won its Central Invitational opener against MacMurray College (Ill.) 15-25, 25-21, 25-17, 25-22 Friday night.
The Dutch (10-3), who beat rival Simpson College in an emotional five-set match on Wednesday, lost the first set by 10 points against the Highlanders (5-7)
“We have to create our own energy,” coach Jeanne Czipri said. “It’s not going to always feel the same way it did on Wednesday night. We need to make sure we are working smarter, not harder for the wrong reasons. It’s important to make sure we knew when to let it rip from the service line and when to make sure we’re finding the court.”
Central had double-digit kills from outside hitter Ruth Hruska-Kelly (sophomore, Brookfield, Ill., Riverside-Brookfield HS) and rightside hitter Krissa Larson (sophomore, Waverly, Waverly-Shell Rock HS). Hruska-Kelly paced the team with 12 while Larson had 10.
“Those two have a put a lot of work in over the summer,” Czipri said. “I think they’re both hungry to keep learning and I think that’s the exciting part about of them.”
Hruska-Kelly also had 10 digs to notch a double-double.
Freshman setter Amanda Smith (Tipton) had a double-double of her own with 18 assists and 12 digs.
“We love Amanda’s athleticism,” Czipri said. “She makes some great plays, especially on those tight passes.”
The Dutch have two more matches at the Central Invitational Saturday, starting with Alverno College (Wis.) at 11 a.m. in P.H. Kuyper Gymnasium.
“A win is a win and tonight was seven in a row, so we’re excited about it,” Czipri said. “This wasn’t our cleanest victory, so we’re hoping to clean things up for tomorrow because we’re going to need it.”