INDIANOLA, Iowa - Megan Dunlavy scored the final two points in a pivotal third set, ensuring that she and her follow seniors would end their careers with a win.
Dunlavy finished with a career-high 25 kills in her last match at Cowles Fieldhouse and Simpson beat Buena Vista 3-1 (25-12, 23-25, 25-23, 25-20) on Wednesday night in the season finale for both teams.
With the match tied 1-1 and the third set tied at 23, Dunlavy buried a kill and followed with a service ace, swinging the momentum of the match in Simpson's favor.
A fixture in the lineup since stepping on campus in 2008, Dunlavy closed her career with 1,344 kills, eighth on Simpson's all-time list. Her .271 hitting percentage is third all-time, and the highest by a Simpson player since Kris Michels hit .342 from 1991-94.
"We're going to miss Megan," 13th-year head coach Lana Smith said. "All four years she's been instrumental in the success of this program. She fought hard to get back from injury this season and played really well in October."
Steph Keller continued her late-season surge, adding 17 kills and hitting .333 for the Storm (14-18, 3-5 Iowa Conference). Like Dunlavy, setter Ashley Padget turned in a memorable performance, handing out a season-high 56 assists.
After going 6-12 in the month of September, Simpson went 8-6 in October, winning five of its last seven matches.
"We didn't get off to a great start this year but it was awesome to finish strong," Smith said.
"All of our seniors contributed and played well tonight, which is great to see in their last match," Smith said.
Lacie Drennan had 15 kills and hit .229 to lead the Beavers (9-23, 0-8). Buena Vista recovered from a seven-point deficit in the second set, making a run at its first conference win of the season.
Simpson trailed 4-0 early in the fourth set, but used a 7-0 run midway through to take an insurmountable 15-11 lead.
Notes: Megan Dunlavy's older brother, Tim, also had a career effort in the final home game of his career, also against Buena Vista. A basketball player, he scored a career-high 37 points and grabbed 17 rebounds in an 83-80 win on Feb. 10, 2010 ... Simpson missed qualifying for the Iowa Conference Tournament when Cornell beat Loras 3-1 on Wednesday night.