No national title, but still alive after 3-0 loss to Iowa Central
By Gary Axelbank
BRONX, NEW YORK, November 16- The Monroe Mustangs women's volleyball team started flat, could not sustain any runs, and ultimately were defeated 3-0 (25-12, 25-20, 25-21) by Iowa Central in the first round of the NJCAA Division II Women’s National Volleyball Tournament on Thursday.
The 33-6 Mustangs, who came into the match as the #13 seed, made a number of errors and each time it looked like they could sustain some momentum, they would commit an unforced error shooting themselves in the foot and opening the door for the talented and well-coached #4 seeded 34-10 Tritons. As a result of the loss, Monroe moves into the loser's bracket, meaning they can not finish higher than 9th in the national tournament. The double-elimination rules pitt them against #5-seeded 37-9 Kirkwood (IA) on Friday at noon.
"We were out-played," said Coach Nephtali Delgado Reyes, "there's no doubt about that. We had played better in most of our regular season games, but we were a little green at how to handle the pressure of a national tournament and the competition here is very strong. But we're going to regroup and give it our best effort tomorrow because we'd like to keep playing on. This is an excellent experience for our players."
If Monroe loses tomorrow, their season will be over.
In the first set, Monroe dropped behind early and stayed behind. Early in the match they got the lead down to two (7-9) but never made it closer as Iowa pulled away.
In the second set, the score was close and in fact tied at the midway point (13-13), but Iowa got the next four points and never looked back.
In the third set, the Mustangs appeared to finally find a comfort level and led almost the whole way. The score was 15-9 for the Mustangs, when the Tritons asnwered by scoring eight of the next nine points and they took the lead for good at 18-17.
A lot of the action centered around Monroe freshman Tatihana Cordero who led Monroe in kills (7) and total attacks (33). But she also made a team-worst nine errors.
Kimberlie Alvarado enjoyed some success with 13 total attacks and six kills. Lydia Ortiz had 11 attacks and six kills.