DECORAH, Iowa -- Hannah Lester had a season-high 14 kills to lead three players in double figures but the Simpson volleyball team came up short in a four-set loss to Luther on Tuesday (23-25, 27-25, 25-13, 25-20).
Lester's big day led a solid effort from the Storm (5-10, 1-1 American Rivers), but it wasn't enough to offset Karissa Kime's 18 kills for the Norse (8-7, 1-1).
Madison Hawtrey finished with 13 kills and junior Ty Duve had 11, matching a career-high set during her freshman season. Alyssa Mathews handed out 41 assists and Ariana Martinez finished with 18 digs.
How it Happened
First Set: Simpson came out of the gates strong, building a 19-14 lead on back-to-back service aces from Mathews. The Norse came all the way back to tie the set at 23, but Hawtrey registered consecutive kills to take the set for the Storm. Lester (6) and Hawtrey (5) combined for 11 kills in the set, and Simpson hit .371 as a team.
Second Set: Simpson fell behind 23-19 but battled back, tying the set at 24-all on a block by Duve. An attack error by Emma Veum gave Simpson a 25-24 lead, but an error and a pair of Anna Larson kills gave the set to Luther.
Third Set: Luther took control of the set early with a 9-1 run resulting in a 10-3 lead. Simpson couldn't recover.
Fourth Set: Simpson came out strong in a must-win fourth set, building a 13-9 lead on the strength of three kills and a block by Lester. But momentum swung in Luther's favor with an 8-0 run that saw Paige Yontz hold serve for seven points. The Storm stuck around, pulling within 23-20 on a kill by Megan LeMay, but ultimately couldn't complete the comeback.
Simpson hosts Iowa Wesleyan in a non-conference clash Thursday, Sept. 20. Start time is set for 7:30 p.m. at Cowles Fieldhouse, where Simpson is 2-0 on the year.