Sports

Iowa Wesleyan volleyball drops home game

Iowa Wesleyan’s Anna Leidl gets down to dig a Greenville spike attempt during Tuesday night’s home loss. (Andy Krutsinger/The Union)
Iowa Wesleyan’s Anna Leidl gets down to dig a Greenville spike attempt during Tuesday night’s home loss. (Andy Krutsinger/The Union)
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MT. PLEASANT — The Iowa Wesleyan volleyball team had its hands full with second-place Greenville in a St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference home game on Tuesday night. The Tigers were swept 25-17, 25-18 and 25-16.

Greenville got off to a hot start in the first set, scoring the first four points. Iowa Wesleyan came back to score the next three, but never had the lead again in the set.

Iowa Wesleyan trailed 5-1 early in the second, but a kill by Skylar Garcille helped the Tigers shake off the cobwebs. The Tigers would battle back to tie the game at 15-15 on an ace by Leamaris Fuentes.

Greenville responded to the Fuentes ace by scoring three of the next four points. Another Fuentes ace cut the Greenville lead back to one, at 18-17, on a Lezar’Rhea Burnside kill, but Iowa Wesleyan couldn’t tie the game back up.

Iowa Wesleyan held an early lead in the third set. The Tigers led 4-2 after a kill by Maliokekai DeMate, the first of two two-point leads of the set.

The Tigers led the third 7-5, but Greenville scored the next four. The Panthers would lead for the rest of the set to finish off the sweep.

Iowa Wesleyan head coach Aleksandra Popovic says although the team fell, she thought her team showed a lot of fight. This was the Tigers’ third-straight game against a one of the top three teams in the SLIAC.

“Obviously it is a very young team, but I’m very proud of them,” said Popovic. “They are playing fearlessly.”

Burnside finished the game with seven kills to lead the Tigers. DeMate had five. Emily Gehring finished with three. Garcille and Anna Leidl had two each, and Gwyn Williams had one.

Fuentes led the squad with 10 digs. Lindsay Fernandez had the most assists, with 12.

The Tigers had six service errors on the day and four aces. Fuentes led the way with two aces. Fernandez and Jenna Murphy had one each.

Iowa Wesleyan has now reached the halfway point in a very abbreviated spring volleyball season. The Tigers are 1-6 heading into their game at Spalding University (4-4) on Friday night.

“We’re just thankful that we get to play,” Coach Popovic said. “The COVID year has been really year, and I’m just happy that we are staying healthy, physically mentally and emotionally.”