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Storm fall to league champions in four sets

Morgan Taylor (30) and Hannah Lester
Morgan Taylor (30) and Hannah Lester

INDIANOLA, Iowa — Aryn Jones had 14 kills and Wartburg beat the Simpson volleyball team in four sets Thursday night at Cowles Fieldhouse, 25-8, 25-20, 23-25, 25-16.

Simpson's 25-23 win in the third set marked just the fourth time this season an Iowa Conference opponent has been able to take a set from the Knights (20-5, 8-0), who had the conference title wrapped up coming into the night.

Jacque Luth and Morgan Taylor had 13 kills apiece and Hannah Lester added 10 for the Storm (9-15, 1-7), who celebrated Senior Night at the final home match of the season.

The home crowd was treated to an entertaining third set that saw 11 ties and lead changes. Taylor came up big for the Storm, tallying five kills including the set winner. Katrina Hartman's kill broke a 20-20 tie and sparked a 4-0 run for Simpson, which was put in danger by three consecutive errors. Taylor finished the win on an assist from Chelsey Smith.

Wartburg used a 6-0 run early in the fourth set to take a commanding 17-6 lead on the way to a 25-16 win.

Stat Leaders
Morgan Taylor — 13 kills, .175 pct, 2 aces, 10 digs
Jacque Luth — 13 kills, .156 pct
Hannah Lester — 10 kills, .185 pct, 4 blocks
Alyssa Mathews — 36 assists
Ariana Martinez — 23 digs
Ty Duve — 3 kills, 5 blocks

Notes & Numbers
• With just two matches to play in the season, Hannah Lester's .278 hitting percentage is currently the highest by a Simpson player since 2011 and would be the third-highest in school history under the current 25-point format, which was introduced in 2008.
• With her 36 assists, Alyssa Mathews surpassed 800 for the season. Her 817 assists are the most for a Simpson player since 2014.
• Wartburg increased its winning streak against the Storm to eight matches. Simpson's last win came in the 2009 IIAC Tournament Championship, a three-set win that gave the Storm the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

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