DUBUQUE, Iowa – The 2018 Alverno volleyball season came to a close on Friday afternoon as the Inferno visited both Dubuque and Loras for non-conference competition.
The Inferno dropped its opener at Dubuque in three sets by the scores of 25-14, 25-20 and 25-22. Later in the day Alverno took the opening set from Loras at a 25-20 score, but dropped the ensuing three sets by the scores of 25-17, 25-18, and 25-9 for the 3-1 loss.
Leading the way for Alverno on the day was freshman Catie Flannery, who tallied 16 kills between the two matches. Sophomores Neilee Newton and Arianna Rehberg each totaled 13 on the day, while senior Cailey Jeske closed out her career with 11 kills between the seven sets of competition.
Junior Sam Korn had the team lead with 33 assists on the day, while freshman Alex McMath amassed 13 assists on the day. Jeske led Alverno with four service aces, while Korn notched three of her own on the afternoon.
The defense was once again led by sophomore Morgan Lemner, who tallied 29 digs on the day followed closely by Korn with 23. Flannery had 18 digs, while Newton amassed 15 with McMath also in double-figures at 11. The Inferno had eight blocks on the day led by two solo blocks from both Jeske and Korn, in addition to her solo block Jeske led the team with three assisted blocks for four on the day.
Alverno vs. Dubuque
Flannery led the team with nine kills against Dubuque as Newton finished second on the team with seven. McMath picked up 13 assists, while Lemner had 13 digs to lead the team in the opener.
The Spartans raced out to an early lead in the opening two sets and denied the Alverno offense from stringing together any lengthy rallies as Dubuque took a two sets to none lead.
In the third set Newton evened the score at one before Jeske rattled off two-straight aces to put the Inferno up a pair. The Inferno held a slim 14-13 advantage before the Spartans rolled out five straight points to take a four-point lead. The Inferno were able to take back the lead at 22-21 behind three-straight kills by Flannery, Jeske and Newton but Dubuque notched the last four points to take the third set by a 25-22 score.
Alverno vs. Loras
Against the Duhawks of Loras it was Rehberg to lead the team with nine kills, while both Flannery and Jeske were second on the team with seven kills apiece. Korn picked up 24 helpers, while she along with Jeske had a pair of aces apiece. Lemner had 16 digs defensively, while Flannery had 13 and Korn added 11 of her own.
The Inferno opened the first set trailing but fought back to even the score at four behind an ace from Newton. Alverno trailed by one at 5-4, but put together a 10-2 run to take a 14-7 lead which included kills by Jeske, Newton and freshman Isabelle Gemza.
With the Inferno leading by a 19-11 score midway through the set, Loras fought back and pulled back within three at 21-11. Jeske put an end to the run with a kill, before drilling a pair of service aces to give the Inferno set point. It was ultimately Flannery to connect on the final kill of the set from a pass from Korn to give Alverno the opening set victory.
The second set saw Alverno hang with the Duhawks, trailing by just one at 5-4. However the Loras offense exploded for a long run of points that turned into a 22-11 lead in favor of the Duhawks. Rehberg connected on a kill, along with a series of Loras errors to get the Inferno back within eight at 23-15, but it was not enough as Loras evened the match at one set apiece.
Loras opened the third set on a 6-2 run but Alverno came back to even the score behind a pair of Flannery kills. Another Loras rally saw the Duhawk lead swell to 17-9, which turned out to be too much for the Inferno to overcome as Loras won the set by a similar margin at 25-18.
The Duhawks opened the fourth set with a 21-4 advantage, before ultimately winning by a 25-9 score.
Alverno finishes the season with a 4-26 record, and will look to build off a strong young nucleus of talent that returns to the roster in 2019.