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Spartans fall in home opener

Published: Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014 2:57 a.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014 3:06 a.m. CDT
Southwestern setter Bailey Preston of Omaha slides for a saving dig against DMACC in Wednesday's home opener for the Spartans. Preston finished with eight setting assists.
Southwestern's Tabitha Karkosky reaches to block an attack by DMACC's Kaitlynn Vought as Spartan libero Kirsten Anderson stands ready for the carom. DMACC swept the conference opener, 3-0.

Ninth-ranked Des Moines Area Community College opened the 2014 conference season in dominating fashion Wednesday night, sweeping Southwestern 25-10, 25-11, 25-15 in the Spartans’ home opener.

DMACC improved to 4-1 overall while starting 1-0 in the ICCAC Division II race. SWCC falls to 1-5 and 0-1, with a welcome week off before traveling to Mason City next Wednesday and a tournament in Highland, Kan., the following weekend.

“It’s the beginning of the season, and we see things to work on,” said first-year SWCC coach Ting Liu, who has already taken her freshman-dominated team into battle with four nationally-ranked teams in the opening six matches.

“The girls are disappointed,” Liu said. “It’s good that they have self-estimates set high for themselves. Hopefully we can get a win next week. We have to have better practices. You have to fix things in practice.”

After leading 16-9 in the first set, the Bears went on a 7-0 run to take a 23-9 command on the way to a 25-10 victory.

The Spartans did not offer much of a challenge in set two, falling behind by margins of 16-3 and 21-6 in the 25-11 loss.

The third set was much different. Southwestern forced a DMACC timeout when freshman Madison Walston of Bedford had a quick slam kill on the jump service point by Carmen Subbert of Stanton, which closed the deficit to 10-6. Walston’s tip to an open spot moments later made it 11-7.

Freshman setter Bailey Preston served successive points to cut it to 13-10 midway through the set.

DMACC’s powerful net attack, including sophomore Nevada Meis of Council Bluffs St. Albert, started to take hold in building a 24-14 lead.

Erin Coker’s service point cut it to 24-15, but a net serve ended Southwestern’s night in the 25-15 loss.

“Our offense was not regular tonight,” Liu said. “Our passing was not consistent. Then the setter cannot save the ball. I thought (Indian Hills) last night was even taller and stronger, but they made more errors than this team. DMACC is pretty consistent. They just don’t give you points. “

Coker and Subbert led Southwestern with five kills each. They also each had six digs. Preston ended with eight setting assists. Mikayla Prott, 6-foot middle hitter from Racine, Wis., had one solo block and an assisted block. Coker and Walston each had one assisted block.

Walston had the team’s only ace serve against a strong DMACC defense led by libero Amber Huttmann of Lewis Central.

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