INDIANOLA, Iowa -- The Simpson volleyball team looked to make a comeback against Luther on Tuesday in Cowles Fieldhouse, but fell 3-1 to the Norse in the team's home opener.
The Storm (6-7, 0-2 A-R-C) went down 2-0, but came back strong in the third set to take it and set the match at 2-1. In the fourth set, Luther (4-11, 1-1 A-R-C) was up by six points at 22-16, but Simpson charged back to within one at 24-23, but could not hang on at set point and would fall in the American Rivers Conference contest.
To start out the game, the Storm went out in front 6-1, but the visitors slowly chipped away and made it a 10-10 game in the midst of a five-point rally to stretch it to 12-10. Simpson would never regain the lead and lost 25-20.
In the second, the Storm had the same start and jumped out to 4-1. After keeping the lead until 17-11, the Norse would heat up for an 8-2 surge to tie it at 19-all. Simpson had its eyes on set point at 24-23, but Luther would force two Storm errors and get an ace to steal the set.
During the third, the Storm would grab a two-point victory at 25-23 after having the set in a stalemate at 22-22. Hannah Lester would fire two kills in the last three points to help lift the team to win 25-23. In the fourth set, both teams played evenly through the first 21 points with Luther holding an edge at 11-10. Simpson would climb out in front at 14-13 with the help of two kills and an ace. The Norse would go on a 6-1 spurt to make it 20-15, before Simpson was only down by one at 24-23, but Luther closed the door on the comeback and potential fifth set at 25-23. There were seven lead changes in the game, with three coming in the fourth set.
Lester finished with a game-high 17 kills for a .333 hitting percentage. Niya Harris and Taylor Sudmann each had double-digit kill efforts as well. Alyssa Mathews got the offense going with her 39 assists. On the defensive side of the ball, Ariana Martinez produced 27 digs from her libero spot.
After spending much of the season on the road, the Storm remain at home this weekend to host the Simpson Quadrangular. Simpson opens up play on Friday at 7 p.m. against Principia.