Storm drop opener in Lincoln

Hannah Lester
Hannah Lester

LINCOLN, Neb. — Hannah Lester and Cassie Hoefling combined for 22 kills but the Simpson volleyball team dropped a four-set match to Willamette in the first match of the Prairie Wolf Invitational on Friday.

Lester and Hoefling had 11 kills apiece to lead the Storm (2-3). Lester added a team-high four blocks and Alyssa Mathews handed out 43 assists.

Simpson won set two 25-17 to knot the match at one set apiece before the Bearcats (2-3) won the final two sets to take the match.

Set Scores
25-21, 17-25, 25-21, 25-18

Stat Leaders
Hannah Lester — 11 kills, .148 pct, 4 blocks
Cassie Hoefling — 11 kills, .150 pct
Katrina Hartman — 9 kills, .353 pct
Alyssa Mathews — 43 assists
Morgan Taylor — 3 kills, 5 aces, 8 digs

Key Moments
• The Storm battled all the way back from a five-point deficit to tie the opening set 17-all on an ace by Taylor. She couldn't keep the next serve in bounds, though, and Willamette took the lead for good on the way to the 25-21 win.
• Simpson pulled away in the second set with a 7-2 run capped off by an ace from Taylor. Taylor started the rally with a kill to give Simpson a 10-9 lead.
• The Storm built an early 8-5 lead on a kill by Hartman in set three before Willamette went on a 5-0 run and never looked back.
• Simpson trailed just 10-9 in the deciding fourth set before the Bearcats went on a 7-1 run, taking a 17-10 lead on a block assist. The Storm couldn't recover.

Up Next
Simpson closes the weekend with matches against Westminster (Mo.) and host Nebraska Wesleyan on Saturday. Westminster (2-5) lost to Wis.-Platteville and Nebraska Wesleyan in four sets on Friday while the Prairie Wolves (4-2) split, losing to Platteville in four. The Westminster match begins at 10 a.m. with the Wesleyan match to follow at about Noon.

Games can be viewed online at NWUSports.com.