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CEDAR RAPIDS — Playing competitively for the first time since November 2019, the Central College volleyball team was beaten in straight sets 25-18, 25-22, 25-15 Sunday night at Coe College.

Despite the loss to the Kohawks (1-0, 1-0 American Rivers Conference) coach Jeanne Czipri said the team was thrilled to return to action.

“We were so grateful and excited to put on jerseys tonight and loved being back on the court,” she said. “Coe did a great job offensively to keep us out of rhythm.  We needed to respond better with cleaner volleyball in general.”

Central unveiled a trio of first-time starters, including freshman setter Alicia Wendler (Prior Lake, Minn., Jefferson HS) who had 22 assists. Also making starting debuts were right-side hitter Ally Focht (senior, Stanton) and middle hitter Hallie Uhlig (junior, Colorado Springs, Colo., Palmer Ridge HS). Focht had three kills and Uhlig had three blocks.

“I think Alicia did well in her first collegiate match,” Czipri said. “It was good to see a few new faces in different places.”

Outside hitter Krissa Larson (junior, Waverly, Waverly-Shell Rock HS) led the team with 11 kills and libero Landry Luhring (junior, Grundy Center) had 14 digs.

The Dutch hit the road again on Tuesday night for a 7:30 p.m. match at Simpson College in Indianola. The squad makes its home debut on Friday night against Wartburg College at 6:30 p.m.

“We have a lot of work to do to play cleaner and more disciplined volleyball, Czipri said. “We are eager for the opportunity to play two more matches this week.”

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