Eagles eliminate MCC netters in straight sets

CEDAR RAPIDS – The Marshalltown Community College volleyball program’s first winning season since 2005 came to an abrupt end on Tuesday night as the Tigers were swept from the NJCAA Division II Region XI-B bracket by seventh-ranked Kirkwood.

The host Eagles (32-7) overcame early leads for Marshalltown in each set, winning 25-16, 25-19, 25-18 to advance to Saturday’s finals in Fort Dodge. Kirkwood will take on second-seeded Southwestern (33-9) at 3 p.m. at Iowa Central, following the Region XI-A title bout between No. 14 DMACC (32-10) and the host Tritons (19-23). Both the A and B winners will move on to the NJCAA National Championships.

Marshalltown’s season ended with three straight defeats, but the Tigers still finished 22-20 overall. It’s as many wins as MCC has tallied since 2005.

Freshman middle hitter Miranda Smith, a Marshalltown High School graduate, led the Tigers in their finale with nine kills. Reeba Box, a BCLUW grad, got eight kills, 11 digs and a team-high two blocks.

Meghann Cole and Katelyn Yauslin both contributed four kills and one block. Freshman setter Sam Hinrichs had 25 assists.

Libero Ashley Salgado led the Tigers with 16 digs and Alyssa Whitmore, a former East Marshall standout, added 12 digs.

Heather Poula and Erin Walker both notched 12 kills to pace Kirkwood.