INDIANOLA, Iowa - The Simpson volleyball team held early leads in two of three sets but dropped a 3-0 (25-22, 25-21, 27-25) decision to Dubuque on Wednesday at Cowles Fieldhouse.
The Spartans (11-6, 1-2 Iowa Conference) trailed by five in the first set and four in the second, but rode the hot hand of Lauren McKissick to the win. The junior outside had a game-high 23 kills, hitting .358.
Caitlin Simbeck added 12 kills and Linsay Ellinor handed out 26 assists, helping Dubuque snap a six-game losing streak against Simpson and give the Spartans their first win inside Cowles Fieldhouse since 1999.
Megan Dunlavy reached double-digit kills for the tenth straight match, burying 13 kills and hitting .333 for the Storm (5-11, 0-4). Lauren Martin and Kelsey Albers chipped in with seven kills apiece, Ashley Padget distributed 32 assists and McKaylie Croghan had 18 digs and three service aces.
Simpson led 6-1 early in the first set before Dubuque went on a 10-5 run to knot things up at 11. After a kill by Albers made the score 21-21, the Spartans outscored the Storm 4-1 down the stretch.
Trailing 2-0, Simpson rushed out of the gates with an 11-7 lead in the third set. Dubuque slowly crept into the match, tying the score 20-20 whenMcKissick and Chelsea Jones teammed up for a block.
The teams traded points until 25-25, when Carly Green's second kill in a row gave Dubuque a one-point edge. A block assist from Lindsay Ellinor and Kirstyn Hines on the next volley closed it out for the Spartans.
Dunlavy and McKissick put their respective teams on their backs in the final set, as Dunlavy registered seven kills and McKissick put down 10.
The Storm will get a heavy dose of Wisconsin this weekend at the Wartburg Invitational, as three of their four games come against programs hailing from the Badger State. Simpson faces UW-River Falls, UW-Eau Claire, UW-La Crosse and St. Olaf at The W in Waverly. The tournament begins Friday, Sept. 30 with a 4 p.m. start against River Falls.