The Marshalltown Community College Tigers traveled to Dakota County Technical College in Minnesota on Tuesday, October 23 for a matchup with the Blue Knights. The Blue Knights entered the contest at 19-8 and much like the Tigers, have been a program on the rise this year. MCC already represented one of the losses on the home team's record as they swept the Blue Knights in their contest earlier in the year.
The match got off to a rocky start for the Tigers as they struggled both attacking and from the service line in the first set. Known for their high risk – high reward serving this season, the Tigers lead all NJCAA DI programs in both service aces and service errors. Unfortunately, in the first set, the errors showed up, but the aces didn't as the Tigers committed eight errors and recorded zero aces. To compound their struggles from the service line, the Tigers also committed five attack errors in the first set. However, the MCC squad proved their resilience with some strong defense as they recorded 25 digs in the set and 3 blocks on their way to a narrow 25-23 victory in set one.
Set two played out much the same as again the Blue Knights opened up an early lead. Like the first set, the Tigers battled to stay within striking distance. While the service errors were cut down to one, the Tigers were unable to go on any runs as they were limited to a single ace in the second set. Again, the defense came up with some big plays led by Halee Pedro and her nine digs. Elena Yee paced the Tiger attack with six kills to help the Tigers take set two by a score of 25-22.
The third set saw the Tigers come to life and play with a new found energy. While the defense remained solid with 25 digs, the offense stepped up as well. Marija Egic recorded eight of her eleven kills on the day in set three while committing just one error on ten attempts to hit .700% for the set as the Tigers cruised to a 25-12 victory to close the match out.
Head Coach, Justin Hoskins applauded the team's resiliency. "We didn't play great tonight, but we found a way to win. There are going to be days where we simply aren't as crisp as we'd like or playing our best volleyball. But it's important to learn how to grind out these types of matches and find a way to win. I'm glad our girls were able to find a way to hang with DCTC in the first two sets and pull out the sets. Then we showed what we're capable of when we play well in that third set."
The Tigers will have just one more opportunity to show what they're capable of this year when the team takes on John Wood Community College on October 26. The Tigers swept the Trailblazers decisively back in September and will look to do so again as they celebrate both Staff/Faulty Appreciation Night and Sophomore Night for setter, Jelena Dukic.