WAVERLY, Iowa – MacKenzie McGraw had a big match for the Simpson volleyball team, but the Storm couldn't overcome a deep Wartburg squad Wednesday, dropping the Iowa Conference opener in three sets (25-21, 25-18, 25-21).
McGraw had 10 kills and hit .471 to lead the Storm (5-7, 0-1 Iowa Conference), who were looking to snap a four-game losing streak in the series. Jacqueline Luth finished with nine kills, Tabitha Blaser added eight and Sara Hoppenworth handed out 21 assists.
Claire Willenbring led a well-balanced attack for the Knights (7-1, 1-0), finishing with 14 kills. In all, 10 Knights tallied a kill and the team hit .354 for the game.
Simpson started off strong, taking a five-point lead midway through the first set. An ace by Blaser and back-to-back Wartburg errors gave Simpson a 15-10 lead.
Wartburg came back with a 4-0 run, eventually working a 20-all tie. A Willenbring kill helped the Knights outscore Simpson 5-1 down the stretch.
Wartburg committed just one error in the a second set win and raced out to a 12-3 lead before taking the third set.
The Storm have the weekend off before returning to Iowa Conference play next Tuesday, Sept. 22 at Luther.