OTTUMWA — In the middle of a most unusual season, it appeared the Indian Hills volleyball team had returned some normalcy to the Hellyer Student Life Center on Sunday looking every bit like a national tournament team through the first two sets against visiting DMACC.
The next 90 minutes, however, was anything but normal for the 14th-ranked (DI) Warriors, leading to not-so-unfamiliar result. For the second time in three years, the Bears rallied to score a five-set win over IHCC earning a 9-25, 21-25, 25-17, 25-22, 15-11 victory denying Indian Hills the first home win of what will be one of two seasons the Warriors will play in the calendar year of 2021.
"It was quite the roller coaster," Indian Hills head volleyball coach Lyndsey Michel said. "We played so well in that opening set, but I kept the reminding the girls not to let up. This is DMACC. They're going to wake up. If you mess around, you're going to go five with them."
Michel speaks from experience, having seen DMACC rally before at the Hellyer Center. The Bears rallied for a 21-25, 25-23, 26-24, 17-25, 15-8 win in August of 2018, spoiling the home and season opener that year for the Warriors.
"I have really bad look going five with DMACC," Michel said. "I'd have to look it up, but it's not a good record. I don't know if I'm cursed or what, but I was begging for the girls to finish it off in four."
Gabriela Cavalcante-Oliveria did her best to lead the Warriors to their first win at home this season, leading all players with 22 kills and 18 digs while scoring a match-best 26 points. Precious Daley returned from a concussion, recording 11 kills and scoring 13 points in her first match at the Hellyer Center.
"Precious has done everything we've asked. She continues to step up and battle for us," Michel said of Daley. "Coming back from missing a whole week due to that concussion, we threw her in there because she's totally capable and can hit the ball hard. She's stayed positive throughout."
Jarolin de los Santos led IHCC defensively with four blocks while Anja Vranic led the Warriors in serving with three aces. Emma McKinney led DMACC (7-2) with 11 kills while Kylie Welch added 10, including the match clincher on DMACC's second match point.
Indian Hills falls to 1-3 with the loss, failing to string consecutive wins together after earning the first win of the season 10 days earlier at Northeast. Weather prevented IHCC from playing matches against Mineral Area and Marshalltown during that 10-day span.
The Warriors will look to double their matches played total next weekend. Indian Hills heads to Kansas to play in four matches in the Hutchinson Invitational on Friday and Saturday.