Minnesota West loses volleyball rematch with sixth-ranked Century College

Oct. 9—WHITE BEAR LAKE — It was a valiant effort for the Minnesota West Lady Jays volleyball team Saturday night in its rematch with the No. 6 Century College Wood Ducks.

In the end, the Ducks prevailed in four games 25-21, 25-23, 18-25, 26-24. In a match where two of the four games were only decided by a couple of points, the match could've potentially gone either way.

The Lady Jays are still in the midst of a very strong season at 20-7 overall and 11-2 in the Minnesota College Athletic Conference as the regular season winds down.

Century College is 22-3 overall and is atop the MCAC South division standings at 11-1 with Minnesota West close behind. But the Ducks lead this year's head-to-head battle with the Lady Jays 2-0.

The two teams met earlier this season on Sept. 16 in Worthington. At the time, Century College was the top-ranked NJCAA Division III team and Minnesota West was ranked 14th. The Lady Jays were confident they could compete with the top teams in the nation and they proved it in that matchup.

But the Ducks won 3-2 in a match that the Lady Jays very well could've won. The latest match on Saturday set a similar tone. While it only took Century College four games to defeat the Lady Jays, all four of them were close.

For Minnesota West, Ella Hesse finished with 20 kills to lead both teams. She also had 15 digs and served 15-of-16 with an ace. Kat Polzine totaled four kills and two blocks and made all 17 of her serves and Shawna Rogers had 10 digs and made all 15 of her serves. Lexi Schreurs had 34 set assists along with five kills and eight digs.

Courtney Moser served two aces on 16-of-18 performance. Other leaders in kills were Hattie DeVries with nine and Ella Kamrud with six. Kiarra Danielson added three kills and two blocks.

In total, the Lady Jays committed seven service errors in the match, which potentially cost them momentum.

For Century College, Alexis Helmin finished with 14 kills and Jamie Ihfe and Kiyomi Callahan each added 13. Gabrielle Schwirtz had 54 set assists and Cassidy Gilliam led with 14 digs while Kylie Naylor added 12.

Looking ahead for the Lady Jays is the final stretch of the regular season as they close it out with four-straight home matches.

After narrowly missing out on the Region XIII Playoffs last year, the Lady Jays are in position to make it this year. With the top four teams in each division of the MCAC making the playoffs, the Lady Jays are sitting comfortably in second place and the rest of their schedule looks promising.

Three of their final four matches are rematches against conference rivals they've beaten this season and two of which are against bottom-three teams in the MCAC South.

The first one is this Friday at 6:30 p.m. against Minnesota State Community and Technical College, who the Lady Jays beat 3-1 earlier this year. After that comes Ridgewater College Saturday, another team Minnesota West beat 3-1.

The following week, Minnesota West matches up with Briar Cliff JV on Wednesday, Oct. 18 before it closes out the regular season Oct. 20 against St. Cloud Technical & Community College.