JUCO Volleyball: Sixth-ranked Warriors win two at Jimmy John’s Tourney | Sports

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WEST BURLINGTON — No matter who’s on the court, Lyndsey Michel expects to see the Indian Hills volleyball team perform at a consistently high level.

It took a while to get the engine running smoothly on Friday’s opening day of the Jimmy John’s Tournament. The sixth-seeded Warriors found themselves in opening battles with Spoon River and Black Hawk College, with Black Hawk even briefly edging out the IHCC in Game 2.

In the end, Indian Hills kept the wheels going at Loren Walker Arena by sweeping Spoon River 25-14, 25-9 and 25-13 before winning 25-14, 25-17 and 25-13 on Black Hawk improving to 12-1 on the season. As was the case in Wednesday’s home sweep of Carl Sandburg College, Indian Hills rotated several players off the bench to get time on the court, which at times led to a scrappy game before the Warriors took life by performing at the end at a level similar to the type of play that led to the IHCC winning over five current or previously ranked opponents.

“We had players who stepped up and took the opportunity to do great things,” said IHCC volleyball head coach Lyndsey Michel. “We started off a bit slow in terms of our pace. We had to remind them that we needed to pick up the pace or it was just going to get sloppy.

“We eliminated games in more than one way. We just didn’t communicate sometimes. We have to be much more solid there. When we add new parts, we always have to be able to communicate.”

The defense ultimately helped the IHCC put away both matches as several impressive digs midway through Izabela Zukowski’s opener allowed the Warriors to quickly win the ball over the net against Spoon River. Esra Ackly made a six-point service run, highlighted by a block and net kill by Haleigh Hadley, helped Indian Hills take an 8-3 Game 2 lead against the Snappers.

Against Black Hawk College, the IHCC was able to thwart the Braves at net with seven different players contributing to 12 total team blocks. Larissa Barrerios Scatamburlo and Maggie Paiva were each five blocks apiece in the game as the Warriors scored 44 of the final 66 points in their second win of the day.

Scatamburlo added nine kills against Black Hawk to lead a balanced offensive attack with seven different Warrior players connecting on a winner at net. Emme Wilson saw significant time in every game setting for the powerful IHCC frontline coming to rest Hennesys Lalane, who entered the week leading the nation in total assists.

“I feel like I connect a lot better with everyone on the court,” Wilson said. “It’s exciting to be on the pitch with these girls. Every time Coach Michel calls my name, I can’t wait to get in there.”

Indian Hills will wrap up the Jimmy John Tournament on Saturday with two more games. After taking on Highland around noon, the sixth-seeded Warriors will end the weekend against Sauk Valley around 4 p.m.

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