By Andy Krutsinger, Mt. Pleasant News
The Iowa Wesleyan volleyball team got to play at Ruble Arena for the first time on Saturday, hosting their home triangular against Principia College and Fontbonne University.
The Tigers dropped both games, falling in four sets to Principia and in five sets to Fontbonne.
In the morning game against Principia, IW fell 25-20 and 29-27 in the first two sets. The Tigers trailed 7-1 in the third set before storming back for a 25-19 win to keep the game alive.
Unfortunately for IW, Principia was able to grind out the fourth set, winning it 25-21 to hand IW their first conference loss.
Lida Landre had 16 kills in the loss to lead the Tigers. Paige Kammerer, Sydney Ellsworth and Jordan Miller each had nine.
Ariel Smale had 21 assists in the loss. Kammerer had 19 assists, and Jenna Murphy led the team with 22 digs.
The Tigers put up a great fight against Fontbonne, which all started with a dominant first set. IW won the first set 25-11 to take a 1-0 lead.
IW nearly took the second set. In the closest game of the match, Fontbonne pulled out a 25-23 victory. The Griffins parlayed that momentum into a 25-11 win in the third set and led 2-1 after three.
IW forced a deciding fifth set with a 25-18 win in the fourth. They were unable to finish the job, however, as the Griffins took game five 15-10, to drop the Tigers to 0-2 in SLIAC play.
Landre had 11 kills in the loss to Fontbonne. Miller had nine kills for second on the team. Kammerer had a team-leading 22 digs and 18 assists, and Murphy finished with 20 assists.
The Tigers will be at Monmouth College in Monmouth, Il., tonight (Tuesday). That match will begin at 7 p.m.