With dozens of Halloween costumes in the building and a chance to play in Thursday night's Iowa Conference Tournament semifinals on the line, the Loras College volleyball team battled past a resilient Central College team they swept a week earlier in Pella.
The Duhawks were in the driver's seat throughout Set 1, forcing timeouts from the Dutch after building 13-6 and 18-9 leads.
In Set 2, Loras again had control early, but a timeout by Central trailing 20-15 seemed to be the perfect response. The Dutch mounted a comeback and with the Duhawks sitting on set point at 24-22, Loras took one of their timeouts to regroup and try to finish off the visitors. Central continued their comeback all the way to a 27-25 victory in the second frame, slowing the host Duhawks' momentum built in Set 1.
The Duhawks would open another early lead in Set 3, but Central again answered, forcing Loras into a timeout after tying the match at 17-17. Loras would outscore Central 8-3 following that timeout, winning 25-20 and taking an important 2-1 lead.
Set 4 was close throughout, with each team posting their best hitting percentage of night in any one set. The teams combined for just six errors on 76 attempts. When the Dutch opened a 16-14 lead and had thoughts of evening the match, head coach Teresa Kehe called for a timeout.
With a 22-18 Loras lead, Central would take their finale timeout of the night before scoring their final point to make it 22-19. The final three points of the night would be put down by Loras' three seniors. Regan Riley scored point number 23, Kenzie Goedken number 24, and Cassie Crabill number 25.
Individually, Crabill was 12-for-26 on the night without an error, with many of her dozen kills coming at key spots in the match. Riley also had 12 kills and hit .263 on the night. Kara Grant posted a team high 15. She added a team high 21 digs. Christa Winders had 20 digs from her libero position.
The Duhawks were also exceptional serving the ball on Tuesday night. They matched their season high with 13, led by five from Boyd.
The win puts the third seeded Duhawks into Thursday night's semifinals at #2 seed Coe College. First serve in Cedar Rapids is 7:00 pm on November 1. The Kohawks won the regular season matchup – also in Cedar Rapids – on October 3.