Heartbreak strikes Storm again in five-set loss to Nebraska Wesleyan

Hannah Lester
Hannah Lester

LINCOLN, Neb. — Hannah Lester tied a career-high with 16 kills to lead four players in double figures but the Simpson volleyball team suffered a tough, five-set loss to Nebraska Wesleyan on Tuesday.

Simpson came back to take a 2-1 lead after dropping the opening set, but Nebraska Wesleyan edged Simpson by three in the fourth set and scored the final two points to win the deciding fifth.

Jacque Luth had 12 kills, Allyson Rose and Cassie Hoefling had 10 apiece and Alyssa Mathews enjoyed another big game with 47 assists to lead the Storm (9-14, 1-6 Iowa Conference).

Karrie Sestak had 14 kills and Cora Svoboda added 13 for the Prairie Wolves (11-13, 3-5), who beat the Storm for the second time this season. The teams met in a non-conference contest on Sept. 9, another five-set win for Nebraska Wesleyan.

Set Scores
25-18, 21-25, 24-26, 25-22, 16-14

Key Moments
Set 2: Simpson came back from five points down to earn a 25-21 win. Trailing 16-11, a kill by Lester sparked a 6-0 run, giving the Storm a 17-16 lead. A kill by Luth closed the win as Simpson closed the set on a 6-2 run.

Set 3: Lester tallied a kill to give Simpson 25-24 lead and Martinez closed the win with an ace.

Set 4: Simpson trailed by seven at one point, but came back to pull within one at 23-22. A kill by Anna Gotsch and an attack error by the Storm closed out the win for NWU.

Set 5: Simpson held an early 7-4 lead on a kill by Luth before Nebraska Wesleyan battled back. The Prairie Wolves held set point at 14-12 before a Lester kill and an attack error. NWU scored the final two points on a block assist from the Sestaks and a kill by Karrie Sestak.

Stat Leaders
Hannah Lester — 16 kills, .452 pct, 3 total blocks
Jacque Luth — 12 kills, .052 pct, 8 digs, 2 aces
Allyson Rose — 10 kills, .125 pct, 5 total blocks
Cassie Hoefling — 10 kills, .088 pct, 9 digs
Alyssa Mathews — 47 assists, 11 digs, 1 block
Ariana Martinez — 25 digs, 2 aces
Chelsey Smith — 17 digs, 2 aces

Up Next
Simpson hosts Iowa Conference champion Wartburg for Senior Night on Thursday, Oct. 26. The Knights (19-5, 7-0) beat Dubuque in three sets on Tuesday. Start time is set for 7:30 p.m.

Notes & Numbers
• Simpson falls to 3-6 in five-set matches in 2017 after playing just one in all of 2016.