Warriors fall one game shy of district title

Melodee Schulte digs out the volleyball during action at the Hellyer Student Life Center in Ottumwa earlier this season. Schulte recorded a career-high 28 digs for the Warriors during the NJCAA Midwest District tournament on Saturday at West Plains, Missouri.

WEST PLAINS, MO – Seven months and four days after falling one game short of a dramatic district championship win against Missouri State-West Plains, the Indian Hills volleyball team once again found themselves battling to the end against the Grizzlies with an automatic trip the national tournament on the line.

As was the case back in April, IHCC fell in the fifth and decisive set of the NJCAA Midwest District championship. After sweeping John A. Logan earlier in the day, Indian Hills dropped another hearbreaking final as the fifth-ranked Grizzlies rallied for an 18-25, 25-13, 22-25, 25-22, 15-8 victory at Pauls Evans Arena on Saturday.

With the loss, the Warriors will now await the possibility of earning one of two at-large berths to the national tournament. Indian Hills is now 20-12 after Saturday's district tournament split.

Indian Hills opened up the day with an impressive 25-15, 25-13, 25-14 win over the Lady Vols. Brooke Amann led IHCC offensively with eight kills and added a pair of block assists.

The Warriors rolled into the championship match against West Plains having won four straight sweeps. The hot streak continued for Indian Hills as the Warriors opened with a seven-point opening-game win.

MSU-West Plains responded with a 12-point win in set two to even the match, ending a 13-game winning streak for the Warriors. Indian Hills struck back with a tense victory in the third set, only for the Grizzlies to respond winning a tense fourth set to extend the regional final into a decisive fifth set for the second straight postseason encounter between the teams.

The Grizzlies jumped out to an early lead on the Warriors and held on to earn an automatic berth to the NJCAA DI volleyball national tournament, which will be held later this month in Hutchinson, Kansas. Indian Hills sophomore Precious Daley posted a .385 hitting percentage with 13 kills.

Daley's all-around effort on Saturday also included nine total blocks, 10 digs and a pair of service aces. Amann tallied 11 kills for Indian Hills in the losing effort while Jenna Vallee contributed 12 kills on 30 attempts.

Hennesys Lalane managed the offense with 44 assists. Melodee Schulte recorded a career-high 28 digs for the Warriors.

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