Council Bluffs, Iowa -- A second loss to Iowa Western in as many days ended the season for the Indian Hills Warriors and sent Iowa Western on to the NJCAA Division I national tournament. IHCC wound up splitting their four matches in the District J tournament, beating Marshalltown CC on Friday and Vincennes University on Saturday to finish the 2017 season with 29 wins and 15 losses.
The Warriors split their first two sets with Marshalltown in their initial match of the tourney on Friday before outlasting the Tigers in the 4th set for the win (25-20, 18-25, 25-11, 26-24). Indian Hills trailed 21-19 in set four with the Tigers intent on extending it to a 5th set. But the Warriors rallied to close out the match with some clutch plays down the stretch. Camila Nicoletti had 16 kills and 21 digs to help the Warriors to the win. Jessica Da Silva added a dozen kills and Yelyzaveta Sharkova, who had a strong tournament, served up three aces.
Iowa Western proved to be too tough for the Warriors in the Friday evening match, winning 26-24, 25-17, 25-13, to send IHCC into the consolation bracket. Indian Hills managed only 23 kills and hit .108. Sharkova and Shenglan Chen each had seven digs.
In a battle to see who would stay alive in the double-elimination event, Indian Hills knocked off Vincennes in three sets (25-10, 27-25, 25-21) on Saturday to earn another shot at Iowa Western. The Vincennes match saw Nicoletti record 12 kills and Sharkova topped IHCC with 14 digs while Thayna Birimba added 11.
However, the Warriors didn't have any better luck against the Reivers the second time they played them, losing in straight sets (25-14, 25-21, 25-23). Nicoletti, one of six sophomores whose IHCC careers came to an end with the defeat, led the Warriors with 11 kills and added 10 digs. Sharkova, another soph, had a team-best 13 digs.