MOUNT PLEASANT, Iowa – After a long hiatus, the Eureka volleyball team officially made its return to the volleyball court and dropped its season-opening match in straight sets at Iowa Wesleyan on Saturday.
Freshman Regan Reed (Flanagan, Ill./Flanagan-Cornell) led the Red Devils with seven kills at Ruble Arena in her collegiate debut. Junior Corinne DeBoard (Centralia, Ill./Christ Our Rock Lutheran) followed with four, while Faith Catour (Orion, Ill./Orion) and Katelin Peters (New Berlin, Ill./New Berlin) each recorded one.
Catour registered nine of EC's 11 assists. Jordyn Fox (Pontiac, Ill./Pontiac Township) racked up a team-high 22 digs and tallied the team's first service aces of the season, while DeBoard added 16 digs.
For Iowa Wesleyan, Lezar'Rhea Burnside and Malieokekai DaMate each notched eight kills to tie for a match high.
The first set of the day was the closest all the way through. The Red Devils scored the first point of the 2021 spring season following a long rally that ended with an Iowa Wesleyan hitting error and led by as many as four after a 4-0 run to make it 14-10.
However, the Tigers came back with a 4-0 run of their own to take a 21-19 lead. After tying the set at 21, the home team scored three straight to make it to set point. EC kept it going for two points to make it a one-point match, but Iowa Wesleyan sealed it after a Red Devils hitting error at the net.
EC was behind from the get-go in Set 2, and never quite worked their way back in. The Tigers took the set 25-15 to move within one win of competing the sweep.
In the third and final set, the Red Devils had the upper hand for most of the way through. They amassed a four-point cushion twice – at 18-14 and 21-17 before the Tigers came storming back.
The home team ripped off the last eight points of the match to secure a 25-21 win of the set a season-opening sweep over their St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference foes.
Saturday was Eureka College's first volleyball match in 462 days and its first sporting event in 331 days due to COVID-19.
On Tuesday, the Red Devils (0-1) will head to Greenville (1-0) for another SLIAC road match at 7 p.m. Then, on Friday, they'll host Spalding (0-1) at Christine Bonati Bollwinkle Arena and Convocation Center for their first home match of the season.