Marshalltown Community College volleyball coach Chris Brees did not hold back his feelings on how his Tiger squad played Wednesday night against conference rival Des Moines Area Community College.
Coming off a 5-1 weekend at their home tournament, the Tigers lost a lot of momentum against DMACC as the Bears swept away the home team 25-18, 25-18, 25-11 at the Student Activity Center in Iowa Community College Athletic Conference Division II action.
"They thought because we went 5-1 this weekend that teams would just roll over for us now," Brees said. "Most of the teams couldn't care less that we went 5-1. It's unfortunate that after the weekend we had that we come out tonight and play like that."
T-R PHOTO BY TROY HYDE
Marshalltown Community College freshman Miranda Smith (16) puts away an attack at the net during the Tigers’ three-game loss to Des Moines Area Community College on Wednesday at the Student Activity Center. Smith finished with five kills in the defeat.
Brees is adamant that it's not a talent thing. The Tigers are talented enough to compete with a squad like DMACC, which was ranked as high as 13th last week before dropping out of the NJCAA Division II rankings Wednesday.
There was just something missing Wednesday. And Brees hopes his team can find it before heading off to another busy weekend tournament.
"There is no answer for it. It is nothing the coaches can do anymore," Brees said. "They have to figure this out. And we don't have much time to do that."
DMACC (11-4, 3-1) jumped out to an early 4-0 lead in game one thanks to back-to-back net violations to start the match by MCC as well as another Tiger miscue and a Sarah Frisch kill.
The Tigers closed to within two points moments later but another big service run by the Bears made it 10-4, forcing Brees to call his second timeout of the frame.
"We were walking in warmups. That translated into the match," Brees said. "We have to take ownership in that."
MCC (8-8, 1-2) closed the gap to one two different times, but a pair of kills by McKenzie Grimm extended the lead to four and then the Bears scored five of the next seven points to take an early advantage on the scoreboard.
The Tigers' only lead in game two came at 3-2. It was short-lived as a long service run from Amber Huttmann put DMACC up 8-3.
Two kills and a block by Miranda Smith kept the Tigers close, but Grimm went back to work to help push the DMACC advantage back to five and then a Kaitlynn Vought kill made it 18-11.
The Tigers couldn't get closer than five the rest of the way, and Frisch, a Grundy Center native, finished off the game two win with two of her team-high five blocks on consecutive points.
"(DMACC) had hitting errors and more hitting errors, but we didn't have a front row that wanted to do anything," Brees said. "We just didn't have any effort tonight. No one gave us consistent effort."
Frisch finished with three kills, five blocks and an ace in the win for the Bears. She played a major factor in game three as her long service run gave the Bears all the momentum they needed to record the sweep.
She began serving with DMACC up 8-4. Six points and an ace later and the Bears were in complete control up 14-4.
Frisch came to DMACC as a basketball player, but asked to be a part of the volleyball team in the spring, according to longtime DMACC coach Patty Harrison. She was a part of several strong teams at Grundy Center, including the 2011 Class 2A semifinal squad.
"She is phenomenal. She is very seasoned, very mature and very consistent," Harrison said of Frisch. "We are very blessed to have her on the roster. She is a blessing in disguise."
Huttmann sandwiched two more aces between an MCC error to extend the lead to 19-5 and the Bears closed out the win thanks to three kills from Jessica McNeece.
"It is tough (to sweep) a conference match," said Harrison. "The conference is strong. We can't over-estimate anyone. We were expecting to have a five-set battle to be honest."
McNeece, Grimm and Sheila Menezes all had seven kills to lead the Bears. Nevada Meis finished with five blocks, Barbara Soranzo finished with 16 digs and Sara Jesse and Huttmann delivered 16 and 13 assists, respectively.
"Chris is a great coach. We just had a good night," Harrison said. "That's how volleyball is. You have good nights and you have bad nights."
Brees has known Harrison since he first began his collegiate coaching career. He respects her programs but knows his team could have played better Wednesday.
"She gets kids who want to play hard. We thought we were getting kids who wanted to play hard all the time, not when they want to play hard. That was the difference tonight," said Brees. "We didn't execute our gameplan. We made it so easy for them."
Ashley Salgado, who came into the match leading the nation in digs, finished with 31, while East Marshall graduate Alyssa Whitmore added 23 digs and was 11-for-11 in serves. BCLUW graduate Reeba Box contributed 19 digs and two blocks, while Samantha Hinrichs delivered 14 assists and had five kills. Katelyn Yauslin had a team-high seven kills. Smith, a Marshalltown graduate, finished with five.
Harrison has been coaching volleyball at the junior college level for 31 years. She spent 22 years at Iowa Central before coming to DMACC in 2005. ... Harrison said after the match that she makes any player who misses a serve spend that much extra time by hours in the gym the next day. "Sarah was the only one who didn't miss a serve this weekend but she missed two tonight," Harrison said. "That means she has two hours after practice in the gym. That is why we don't miss many serves though. It works." ... MCC will next play at the Harper College Invitational in Palatine, Ill., this weekend. Action begins Friday at 3 p.m. and continues at 9 a.m. Saturday.