Central volleyball team swept on season’s final day

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GRINNELL— Defeated by Illinois College and Grinnell College, the Central College volleyball team wrapped up its 2019 season Saturday afternoon.

The Dutch finished the season with a 17-13 mark, its first winning record since 2014 and first under coach Jeanne Czipri.

Against the Lady Blue (20-7) in the opener, Central lost 25-21, 25-17, 26-28, 25-12. The Pioneers (24-4) swept Central 25-21, 25-21, 25-22.

“It’s not the way we wanted to send these seniors out,” Czipri said. “There is so much they have to show for all the time and dedication they have put into this family. Their leadership, ability to choose joy no matter what, and their love of Central and Central volleyball is so special.”

Against Illinois College, right side hitter Erin Dilger (senior, Tinley Park, Ill., Lincoln Way North HS) had a match-high 13 kills and .458 hitting percentage. She worked well in conjunction with setter Amanda Smith (freshman, Tipton) who had 18 assists. Smith also had a double-double with 10 digs.

“Amanda was making great decisions offensively,” Czipri said. “She kept giving Erin some great opportunities.”

In the Grinnell match, outside hitter Natalie Gaszynski (freshman, Huntley) had six kills and no errors, earning a .375 hitting percentage. Middle hitter Kayleigh Fite (junior, Florissant, Mo., Trinity Catholic HS) assisted on four blocks in the same match.

Middle hitter Hana Edgerton (senior, Grundy Center) and outside hitter Kristin Fick (senior, North Aurora, Ill., West Aurora HS) both had a total of nine kills in the two matches. Defensive specialist Brooke Caves (senior, Oskaloosa) had 12 digs.

Central’s fifth senior, Courtney Comstock (Hedrick, Pekin HS), was at the junior varsity conference tournament where the Dutch repeated as champions.

“All five of them are warriors and amazing women,” Czipri said. “We are so grateful for all they have done in their time here at Central. They will most certainly be missed on and off the court.”