Indian Hills had several opportunities to score up front, however. The Warriors committed 22 hitting errors out of 103 chances, allowing Southwestern to reel off several runs during the match that allowed the Spartans to pull away in all three games.
Both head coaches agreed one of the main reasons for the Warriors struggles at the net came from a limited amount of touches for sophomore Peyton Crosser. The Ottumwa native, who produced 14 kills on 24-28 hitting in the earlier matchup with Southwestern, was just 14-20 attacking with six kills on Tuesday.
“We struggled to get Peyton (Crosser) the ball. We need her get the ball more,” Lyon said. “I think our hitters were just out of it. There just wasn’t a lot of finish for us offensively and we couldn’t fight our way back in.”
“I was happy we were able to get the ball away from Peyton, because she is good,” Southwestern head coach Melissa Blessington added. “She really hurt us the first time we played. Our girls did a much better job of setting her in the middle this time.”
The Spartans and Warriors each had significant five-point runs during the opening game of the match with Southwestern turning an early 5-2 deficit into a 13-10 lead. IHCC rallied to go up a point before the second five-point run of the night for Southwestern gave them enough of a cushion to edge out Indian Hills in a tight 25-21 opener.
With the trio of Mel Mangrum, Jenna Casey and Shelby Sullivan combining for 23 Spartan kills, only three shy of IHCC’s match total of 26, the Warriors suddenly found themselves struggling to avoid falling into deep deficits early in games two and three. Southwestern looked similar to the team from just north of Creston, Council Bluffs-base Iowa Western, in keeping the Warriors behind on the scoreboard and off balance in its offensive attack.