Tritons welcome Iowa Western in Top-5 showdown

Tritons welcome Iowa Western in Top-5 showdown

Prior to the season starting, the Iowa Central and Iowa Western volleyball teams held a scrimmage with one another.

Now, almost two months from that January meeting, the two collide as Top-5 programs sitting atop the ICCAC.

Action begins inside Hodges Fieldhouse Monday night at 7 p.m. 

The fourth-ranked Tritons (15-2 overall, 14-2 in league) have won each of the past two conference titles. They are a perfect 9-0 at home this season including recent wins over Marshalltown, No. 8 Hawkeye and sixth-ranked Kirkwood.

Returning All-American Kealey Anderson leads the team in kills with 218, averaging almost four per set. Katilyn Steffes, a freshman, and classmate Angel Baylark each have over 140 kills. 

Haley Alharithy has positioned herself among the school's career leaders in block, recording 59 this season. 

Alesha Johnson runs the offense, racking up 611 assists while Baylyn Johnson has a team-leading 250 digs. Anderson, Alesha Johnson and Karli Eckert all have over 100 digs. 

Iowa Central has a dozen three-set sweeps this season and have gone to five sets just once, a victory on the road over North Iowa Area. 

The fifth-ranked (Div. I) Reivers (15-3, 8-0) enter having won 12 in a row. They are unbeaten on the road at 7-0, a mark that includes a 3-1 victory on Sunday over Kirkwood. They also have a dozen three-set sweeps.

Freshman Iremnur Elmas leads the team in kills with 198 followed by classmates Maike Bertens (159) and Elenoa Sing (109). Yadhira Anchante has 519 assists while Elmas also has a team-high 167 digs. 

Dayan Malave, Sing, Anchante, Bertens and Emily Knight have over 20 blocks each.

These two have not played one another since the 2014 season when Iowa Western claimed a 3-0 victory. The Reivers lead the all-time series 5-0, winning the last four in straight sets while the first meeting in 2012 went to five. 

-By Dana Becker