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The No. 15 ranked Wartburg volleyball team defeated rival Luther Wednesday at Levick Arena 3-0 (25-19, 25-17, and 25-20) to stay undefeated in conference play.
Despite the rivalry, Wartburg head coach Jennifer Walker had only praises for the Norse.
“They’re an excited team, they get excited about big plays, and they brought their game and we were expecting that,” Walker said.
Britlyn Sieck and Maddie Forsyth led the team in kills with 12. Ramey Sieck had a double-double with 29 assists and 11 digs.
Wartburg’s defense was stellar, holding Luther to a .079 hitting percentage. Wartburg also recorded seven service aces while Luther had none.
The first and third sets were close with both teams going back and forth for the first 17 points of the game. The first set was tied 12-12 until Wartburg was able to pull away.
Britlyn Sieck’s kill put the Knights ahead 15-12 after two Luther errors.
The Norse tied the set at 17 once again but five straight Wartburg points put the Knights ahead for good.
Luther committed three attack errors in that stretch while Maddie Forsyth had a kill and Marissa Shinstine had a service ace.
Britlyn Sieck’s fifth kill of the set clinched set one for the Knights.
In the second set, Wartburg dominated and at one point was up 20-9 before a Luther comeback cut the lead to five but Wartburg hung on to win 25-19.
Luther served to begin the set and Ramey Sieck set up Britlyn for the kill for a perfect first point on Wartburg’s first attack.
That point set the tone for the rest of the set as the Knights went on to as much as an eight-point streak.
Wartburg never trailed in set two and went on to win 25-17.
The third set was much like the first as the teams went back and forth trading points.
The biggest point streak of the set came with the Knights down 8-7.
Four Luther attack errors and a bad set contributed to Wartburg taking a 13-8 lead.
Luther cut the lead to 17-16 and 18-17 but the Knights pulled away
for the 25-20 win.
Karly Brown clinched the match victory with two straight service aces.
“Our defense was good across the board tonight, but our offense was more of what we normally have in the second set,” Walker said.
The Knights will end their home stand on Tuesday when they host Dubuque on Senior Night. The game begins at 7:30 p.m. and can be heard on KWAR.
Friday and Saturday, Wartburg will compete at the Elmhurst Invite in Elmhurst, Ill.
The Knights start the tournament Friday at 6 p.m. against Transylvania (15-11).
Then Wartburg faces No. 9 Elmhurst (20-7), a team they lost to 3-2 on Sept. 28 at UW-Whitewater.
Wartburg will finish the tournament Saturday against Trinity College (9-7) at 11 a.m.
IOWA CONFERENCE VOLLEYBALL STANDINGS
Wartburg (5-0, 21-4)
Coe (5-0, 16-9)
Loras (3-2, 11-14)
Dubuque (3-2, 11-17)
Central (2-3, 8-14)
Luther (1-4, 10-14)
Simpson (1-4, 9-19)
Buena Vista (0-5, 4-18)