2008 marked the start of rally scoring to 25 in the NJCAA and reset the record books as previous stats using rally scoring to 30 and side-out scoring had become distorted. At MCC, not many records of the volleyball program exist prior to 2008. However, in 2018, Tiger Volleyball has been rewriting the history books throughout the season.
Two wins on October, 20 moved the Tigers to 31-5 on the year. 2018 had already marked the most wins in documented program history (previously 22 in 2013). By winning their 30th and 31st matches of the year, MCC joined Snead State and Iowa Western as the only NJCAA DI programs with at least 31 wins so far this season. The team's .861 winning percentage has also guaranteed the 2018 Tigers the highest winning percentage as the previous best, .545, was recorded in 2008.
Saturday's matches started off with the Tigers squaring off with Grand View University JV. The contest marked the fourth time the two teams had met this season as each team hosted home contests and the teams also saw each other at a pair of tournaments. Coming into the match, the Tigers held a 3-0 record over the Vikings on the year.
Saturday's matchup of the two ended up like each of the first three contests, a Tiger victory. The home team controlled the match with little resistance from the Vikings. Cruising to a 3-0 victory, the Tigers defeated Grand View JV 25-15, 25-12, 25-10. Elena Yee led the way offensively for the Tigers with 16 kills and 0 errors for a .471 hitting percentage.
The real test for the Tigers came in their 6 PM matchup with NJCAA DII #11 ranked Hawkeye Community College as MCC looked to avenge one of their five losses on the season.
A closely contested first set saw the two teams remain close to each other the entire way. MCC fell behind 10-14 before making a run to claim the lead at 16-15. Hawkeye answered with a burst of their own to take a 19-16 lead prompting a Tiger timeout. Out of the timeout, MCC answered with a three point run to knot the set at 19-19. From that point, the two ICCAC foes battled back and forth until Jelena Dukic ended the first set with an out of system kill to give the Tigers the first set 25-23.
The second set saw a letdown from the Tigers defense and serve receive. The lack of ball control allowed the Red Tails to get their middle hitters involved in the team's offense and put a lot of pressure on the Tiger defenders. "We weren't getting aced or shanking easy passes" said MCC Coach, Justin Hoskins. "But we weren't controlling the ball well and ended up having to send way too many free ball and easily dug attacks. They were able to convert those easy pickups to transition swings for their middles and we had a tough time defending them." Hawkeye never looked back after opening up an early lead and claimed the second set 25-19.
The third and fourth sets saw the Tigers offense come to life. Averaging right at 12.5 kills per set entering the match, the Tigers would record 17 and 19 kills in the third and fourth sets respectively. The attack was extremely well balanced as all three of the Tiger pin hitters found success attacking down line against the Red Tails. Elena Yee recorded 16 kills, Sadie Smith added 15, and Marija Egic finished with 14. When asked about the success of the pin hitters, Hoskins said the following: "We knew going into the match that we could have a lot of success attacking line if we were able to beat the block to the pin. It took us a couple of sets to really take full advantage of it, but once we did, Hawkeye had no answer." The offensive explosion combined with a mixed up lineup and a different defensive look resulted in Marshalltown overpowering the visiting Red Tails 25-17 in each of the last two sets to take down the 11th ranked team in NJCAA DII.
The Tigers will wrap up their history making season next week with three matches. On Tuesday, October 22 Ellsworth Community College will visit the MCC Student Activity Center for a 7 PM match. The Tigers are on the road at Dakota County Technical College on Wednesday, October 23. After a final practice on Thursday, the Tigers will host John Wood Community College on Friday, October 25 for Sophomore Night along with Staff and Faculty Appreciation Night.