After a very long road stretch, the Eagles finally came home on Sept. 21, but even though it was at home, the competition saw a tough opponent bringing in No. 20 Northeast Community College. Kirkwood would eventually go on to sweep their opponent 3-0 but the game was a lot closer than what the scoreboard showed.
In the very first set, Kirkwood would start off strong leading 7-3 from some strong attacking by the Eagles, but that would not last too long with both teams feeling each other out and making a handful of mistakes in the initial set.
Northeast would eventually battle back to tie it up at 15 a piece and it would only go back and forth from there where Kirkwood would go up 20-18 and eventually 22-20. Northeast would still keep it close where they would call a timeout with Kirkwood up 24-23, where right after the timeout held a very suspenseful volley but the Eagles defense held up with Lexi Hearn getting a clutch block to secure the win in the first set.
Going into the second set, the Eagles had a lot of energy after the block from Hearn. From the beginning it was back and forth with the largest lead only being by two points. There were a lot fewer mistakes from both sides of the court.
With the set still remaining back and forth it would eventually be tied at 17 before a huge momentum shift with Alyssa Tegeler picking up a clutch ace to bring the Eagles up 19-17. But that didn’t stop Northeast from tying it up 22-22.
With the game all tied up and after two very great volleys the Eagles would win the next two going up 24-22 before Addy Grimm came up with a huge spike that was no match for Northeast’s defense where it deflected out of bounds to grab the second set win for the Eagles.
With the huge win in set two it seemed like everything was going right for the Eagles and Northeast looked very uncharacteristic.
The Eagles attack and defense looked immaculate starting off 5-2, then 10-5, before eventually going up 17-7. Overall the Eagles looked great sending the Northeast home with a sweep winning the final set 25-11.
The Eagles are scheduled to ply their next home game on Oct. 4 against Southwestern before they go on to play north Iowa at home on Oct. 10.
Grace Embretson on how Head Coach David Brown motivates the team: Coach continues to remind us that we are the standard for the conference. We have had a lot of success and it’s in times like tonight that test us as a team. We attacked the challenge head on and proved in that third set that we are worthy of being conference champs and have the ability to ultimately achieve the end goal of national champs. A lot of players stepped up last night and played a very clean match. It was a great team win.
Grace Embretson on who provided the biggest contributions for the win: Emma Meester and Lexi Hearn both had a great game last night and provided the spark the team needed.
Lexi had a huge block to end the first set and that propelled our energy going into the rest of the match.
Emma Meester had a great night and came in clutch with some great attacks at key points of the match. Sydney Matthias distributed the ball well and provided our hitters with some great opportunities.
We can’t forget about the passers either. We passed really well last night in serve recurve which allowed us to run our offense and push tempo and really just play our game. Honestly everyone stepped up and like I said earlier, it was a great team win.