OTTUMWA — It might have been the most impressive effort of the entire season for the Indian Hills volleyball team. It led the Warriors to one of the few sweeps for IHCC so far in 2013.
But after making short work of a long trip north to Iowa Central, the Warriors found themselves in a much different match against a much tougher opponent upon its return to the Tom Arnold Net Center Monday. Still, IHCC showcased the resolve of a team that has at times shown it can hang with the best in the nation only to look somewhat unimpressive in losses to lackluster opposition.
The Warriors certainly were not lacking for effort against Missouri State-West Plains, a team with so much national tournament history it can be found on its home court, the site of numerous NJCAA National Volleyball Tournaments over the years. IHCC knows all about that history, having played at West Plains in the program’s only two national tournament trips.
The Grizzlies and Warriors battled in a match the national tournament longs to see each and every year. Missouri State-West Plains made the long drive to Ottumwa pay off with a thrilling five-game 16-25, 25-17, 26-24, 21-25, 15-12 win in a match that saw both teams score exactly 102 points over almost two full hours of action.
In the end, neither coach could be too unhappy with the effort given by both teams.
“We’ve had a long history with Indian Hills, but we’ve never had the opportunity to play here before,” Missouri State-West Plains head coach Paula Wiedemann said after her first trip to IHCC in 17 seasons as Grizzlies head coach. “I’m thrilled we made trip for the first time to start this home-and-home series this year. To come in here and win a game five against a team that was fighting for it, I’m really proud of our girls for fighting back and finding a way to pull this one out.”