Sunday, December 16, 2018
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Comeback Kids trim DMACC in 5 sets

Maybe the Kirkwood Eagles are too young to know when they're licked and about to lose.

Or maybe they don't care.

The Comeback Kids rallied from a five-point deficit in the final set Wednesday night and escaped the DMACC Bears 22-25, 25-17, 25-22, 21-25, 19-17 in an exciting Iowa Community College Athletic Conference volleyball match at Johnson Hall.

The seventh-ranked Eagles trailed the 11th-ranked Bears, 12-7, in the fifth set and were just three points away from defeat.

They staged a magnificent rally at that point, staved off two match points and snared the victory before a lively crowd.

"We just have fight in us," said sophomore Margaret Micka, one of the few experienced players on the team. "That's the way we practice. We give 100 percent all the time and I think that's what we did tonight."

DMACC could have won the match when they served with a 15-14 lead in the final set, but McKenzie Petersen and Ady Wintermote blocked a shot to tie the game at 15-15.

The Bears could have won again when they served with a 17-16 lead, but this time Haleigh Durnin and Alexa Whipple blocked a shot to tie the game at 17-17.

Durnin and Whipple swatted another shot for an 18-17 lead, then Kirkwood won the match when a slam by DMACC sailed wide.

"I think it's awesome for confidence," Coach Jill Williams said after the clutch victory. "But also, I think sometimes when you are young you don't know any better.

"You just know to go hard because Coach is telling you to go hard and play hard. So they don't know any better.

"I think they're learning a lot about themselves and I think they're learning more about the game," she said.

Kirkwood (5-1) has already posted three come-from-behind victories this season, including two at the Wisconsin Dells tournament this past weekend.

"I guess we've been practicing that," Williams said with a smile. "I told them we don't need to practice it anymore. Let's stay on top."

The Eagles kept their composure when they fell behind by five points in the final set, but they certainly knew the odds.

"I don't doubt our team at all," said Micka, "but I knew it was going to be tough. We had to bring ourselves together and tell ourselves we could do it, because we knew we could."

Abbi Tunis led a balanced attack with 12 kills. Wintermote had 10 kills, Whipple nine, Micka eight and Petersen seven.

Grace Swenning distributed 22 assists and Lauren Keane had 20. Keane finished with 22 digs, followed by Whipple (15), Brianna Ebarhardt (14) and Micka (11).

Durnin had nine blocks in the match, including five solo blocks.


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