BOONE — There weren’t any victories to show for it, but Southwestern played some of its best volleyball of the season last weekend against nationally-ranked opposition at the DMACC Invitational.
The Spartans were 0-4 in action Friday and Saturday, but the opponents included fourth-ranked Parkland Community College and No. 11 Kishwaukee, which has won four national titles in the past decade.
“We had some great team defense against some of the best hitters we have faced all year,” coach Melissa Blessington said. “Katelyn Coyle had two of her best matches of the year passing, serving and defensively.”
Alex Duffy and Lily Lower combined for 23 kills, aided by sharp setting by Molly Schimp, as North Dakota School of Science beat the Spartans Friday, 25-15, 25-18, 17-25, 25-19.
Colby (Kan.) Community College edged SWCC Friday night, 25-12, 25-18, 24-26, 25-23. Duffy had 16 kills in the match and Neill had 14 digs.
On Saturday, Parkland defeated the Spartans, 21-25, 25-14, 25-13, 25-12.
“Parkland is the fourth-rated team in the country for a reason,” Blessington said. “They have a balanced attack and do a great job taking care of the ball. Our girls started the match very strong with a lot of energy, and then we became quiet and allowed Parkland to get going offensively.”
Neill and Coyle each had 19 digs for the busy Spartan defense. Lower finished with 11 kills.
Kishwaukee beat Southwestern, 19-25, 27-25, 25-20, 25-14. Lower and Duffy each had eight kills. Lower also served 20-20 with an ace.
The tourney was good experience as regional tournament play approaches.
“This was a big step for our team,” Blessington said. “We’ve yet to hit our peak, and that is really exciting as we near postseason play.”
Southwestern (19-12) plays at North Iowa Area Community College on Wednesday.