OTTUMWA – Six sweeps and a pair of five-set comebacks have lifted the Indian Hills volleyball team into the national spotlight.
The Warriors entered the NJCAA Division I national volleyball rankings on Tuesday, debuting at No. 13 in the second poll of the season. Indian Hills is 8-0 on the season after winning four matches this past weekend in Colorado at the Otero Junior College tournament, including a five-set victory over the hosting Rattlers.
IHCC rallied after dropping a pair of 25-17 sets in Saturday’s match with Otero, winning 26-24, 25-20 and 15-13 to clinch the eighth straight victory of the season. Mariana Rodrigues led IHCC in the win with 17 kills while Amanda Toyota collected a team-high three ace serves and 14 digs in IHCC’s second five-set victory of the season.
The Warriors found things far less dramatic throughout the rest of the Otero tournament, sweeping Sheridan (26-24, 25-11, 25-16), Trinidad State (25-14, 25-12, 25-15) and Casper College (25-14, 25-17, 28-26). Rodrigues had 17 more kills to open the tournament against Sheridan while freshman setter Cassia Lemos matched Suzana Andrade with three service aces while setting up 35 of IHCC’s 37 kills in the opening tournament win.
Iva Vranic led the Warriors at the net in a sweep of Trinidad State with 11 kills and the team’s only solo block of the match. Thayna Brirmba had five service aces while Rodrigues, Lemos and Toyota scrambled defensively to each record 10 digs in IHCC’s sixth win of the season.
Rogrigues again reached double figure in kills against Casper with a team-leading 12 on Saturday, adding five aces serving the volleyball. Sophia Nascimento capped a successful weekend defending the net with a team-leading three blocks while Lemos collected 12 more digs and 32 more assists.
Indian Hills will return home to host Jefferson College on Saturday at 3 p.m. The Warriors rallied for a five-set win over the Vikings at the season-opening Reiver Classic on Aug. 24.