Preparing to host the East Central College Invitational Friday and Saturday, the volleyball Falcons have had mixed success lately.
ECC (9-16) won two matches at the NJCAA Division II District O Seeding Tournament Sept. 22 in Florissant. The Falcons followed that up with a win at Lewis & Clark Sept. 24 and another victory Sept. 26 over the Missouri Baptist JV team.
Last weekend, the Falcons lost four times in Iowa, losing to DMACC, Iowa Western, Indian Hills and Kirkwood. ECC did not take a single set from any of the opponents.
ECC lost the rematch on the road at the Missouri Baptist JV team Wednesday in five games.
The Falcons are hosting the ECC Invitational Friday and Saturday. An event schedule was not available as of press time.
ECC swept Cottey College, 25-20, 25-16, during the seeding event in Florissant, and took a match over MCC-Longview in three games, 25-21, 19-25, 15-9.
The Falcons lost to Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, 25-19, 25-14, during the seeding tournament.
The win over Longview was the highlight of that weekend. The Falcons had lost their previous two matches against the Kansas City school, including last year’s district championship.
While Longview no longer is ranked in the NJCAA Division II national poll, it still marked a huge victory.
“We were able to beat Longview because we kept attacking offensively and finally clicked as a team,” said ECC Head Coach Lisa Mathes-Peters. “We did not give up a lot of hitting errors and each hitter scored instead of relying on only two players to make up our offense. We also played them tough at the net and they shut down.”
Sadie Pafford led the way with 10 kills while Amanda Reetz had seven and Haley Zenner and Whitney Froman added six apiece.
Zenner recorded 16 digs while Megan Manis had 15, Reetz posted 14 and Sarah Stepp had 11.
Stepp also served two aces and had 19 assists. ECC got 15 assists from Ali Wootten.
In the Cottey match, Reetz led the way with seven kills. Pafford and Marisa Patton each had six. Manis was credited with 13 digs while Reetz had 11 and Zenner posted 10.
Against NEO, the Falcons had to use a 5-1 offense with Stepp after Wootten was hurt.
“They did a very good job attacking our weakness due to having our other setter out,” said Mathes-Peters. “That was the main issue for the match. Our serve receive was a bit rocky during the match but the main thing was trying to side out while our setter was front row.”
It was the first time in nine matches that NEO had beaten ECC.
Lewis & Clark
The Falcons defeated Lewis & Clark in Godfrey, Ill., 14-25, 25-15, 25-15, 29-27.
In the win over Lewis & Clark, Reetz recorded 10 kills while Zenner added eight. Stepp had 17 assists to 12 for Wootten.
ECC credited itself with 94 digs in the four games. Manis led the way with 30 while four others had double digits as well. Zenner posted 17, Stepp ended with 14, Wootten had 13 and Reetz closed with 11.
Missouri Baptist JV
The team hosted its “Jam the Gym” event Wednesday (Sept. 26), winning in four games over the Missouri Baptist JV, 25-16, 18-25, 25-22, 25-21.
The Falcons returned home for a contest against the junior varsity team from Missouri Baptist University Wednesday night and posted a four-game win.
“We won the match tonight because we played great defense after the second set and figured out how to block them,” Mathes-Peters said. “The first two sets we got used a bit in certain positions but we were able to switch up the lineup and figure out how to get the win.”
Mathes-Peters pointed out some strong performances.
Pafford had 11 kills while Reetz picked up 10. Amy Wibbenmeyer had six kills, Zenner closed with five and Lashly posted four.
Statistics kept by the Falcons reported 90 digs in the match. Reetz was credited with 23, Manis had 16, Zenner was marked with 15, Wootten had 12 and Stepp closed with 10.
Pafford had seven total blocks. Stepp posted 20 assists while Wootten had 19. Manis served three aces.
Playing at Des Moines Area Community College Friday, the Falcons lost matches to DMACC, 25-9, 25-10, 25-20, and to Iowa Western, 25-13, 25-20, 25-13.
On Saturday at Indian Hills, the team lost to the host school, 25-18, 25-15, 25-14. In the second match, Kirkwood swept ECC, 25-18, 25-18, 25-17.
“We did not come ready to play this weekend,” Mathes-Peters said. “If we passed well our front row play was off and if our front row play was good our passing was off.”
Against DMACC, Wibbenmeyer led the team with five kills. Stepp posted seven assists. Manis was awarded 20 digs and Pafford had three total blocks.
Against Iowa Western, Pafford had eight kills, Wootten had 14 assists, Zenner posted two aces, Manis received 13 digs and Pafford had two total blocks.
Against Indian Hills, Reetz posted eight kills, Stepp had 15 assists, Reetz and Manis each had two aces and Zenner was credited with 16 digs.
Pafford had seven kills against Kirkwood. Wootten posted 10 digs, Reetz received 18 digs and Pafford had five total blocks.
Missouri Baptist JV 2
The Falcons lost at Missouri Baptist Wednesday in five games, 25-20, 25-22, 12-25, 22-25, 15-6.
Mathes-Peters indicated ECC ran a 5-1 offense with Wootten still injured and it struggled.
“As a team we had the highest number of kills from all who played the net last night but unfortunately we had some key ball handling issues, serve receive problems and high number of hitting errors in sets 1,2 and 5,” Mathes-Peters said. “I feel the new lineup worked at generating a better offense but we will be working on containing our hitting errors in practices this week. Missouri Baptist played a smart match last night and did a great job of capitalizing off our short setter when they could and made it hard for us to get a good in-system dig.”
Pafford and Zenner each had 10 kills while Lashly contributed nine, Reetz had eight and Froman ended with seven.
Froman and Stepp each had three total blocks. Reetz served two aces. Stepp recorded 37 assists.
Manis led the team with 18 digs while Reetz posted 14, Lashly ended with nine, Wibbenmeyer posted eight and Stepp recorded seven.