OTTUMWA— Despite an inspired effort in game three, the Ottumwa volleyball team was swept by Des Moines Roosevelt (25-15, 25-22, 25-23) Tuesday at Evans Middle School Gymnasium on Senior Night in what the girls hope will not be a precursor of things to come.
"I thought the girls played very well in spells," Ottumwa coach Jessica Carson said. "We're lucky enough to get another opportunity to play Roosevelt again. We just need to make sure we're focused in our next week of practice."
The Bulldogs and Roughriders will meet again at 7 p.m. Monday at Des Moines in the first round of the Class 5A, Region tournament.
Ellie Hammack spearheaded the Ottumwa's offensive attack Tuesday with a team-high 11 kills and senior Megan Black added eight. In addition, senior Karissa Wilcoxson keyed the Bulldog offense with 20 assists and Black bolstered Ottumwa's defense with a team-best 26 digs.
"Karissa does a very good job hitting," Carson said.
The coach said Wilcoxson also has done a good job at the setter position since she made the switch to setter this season. In addition, Carson had some kind words for Black.
"Megan Black is a very strong player and the leader of this team," Carson said. "The girls look up to her a lot. She is the captain on our floor who brings the team in a positive direction when we need it."
The game remained close between Ottumwa and the Roughriders until about the eight point mark in game three, when Roosevelt assumed control of the momentum. The Roughriders' embarked on a 5-0 run that left them with a 13-8 lead. Later in the game, Black scored on a perfectly placed tip shot, but her point failed to curb Roosevelt's momentum. The Roughriders' lead climbed to 19-11 after Kaitlyn Williams slammed a spike Ottumwa couldn't return. The Roughriders went on to win the set by a cushy 25-15 margin.