DUBUQUE — Playing in the American Rivers Conference tournament for the first time since 2015, the Central College volleyball team was swept in its quarterfinal match 25-13, 25-16, 25-17 against the University of Dubuque Tuesday night.
Central (15-13) ends its season while Dubuque (11-17) advances to the semifinals on Friday night.
“Major kudos to Dubuque,” coach Jeanne Czipri said. “That was the best, cleanest and fastest I’ve seen them play all year. They looked like a veteran tournament team.”
Dubuque’s 47 kills as a team outpaced Central’s 31. The Spartans also had the advantage of the Dutch with nine service aces and three blocks.
“I’m disappointed with how we performed,” Czipri said. “I really believed we could go head-to-head with them.”
Krissa Larson (senior, outside hitter, Waverly, Waverly-Shell Rock HS) had nine kills and Natalie Gaszynski (junior, outside hitter, Huntley, Ill.) added seven. Amanda Smith (junior, setter, Tipton) had 20 assists. Libero Landry Luhring (senior, Grundy Center) was the only Dutch player to reach double digits in digs with 10.
It was the first final match for Larson, Luhring and Hallie Uhlig (senior, Colorado Springs, Colo., Palmer Ridge HS).
“I am proud of how we have grown and excited about where we are going,” Czipri said. “Our seniors are a foundational part of that. They have been through some really tough times here, stayed the course, and pushed for more each year. All while being selfless and amazing teammates. We are a stronger program off and on the court because of them.”