Tritons, Hawkeye meet for regional championship

Tritons, Hawkeye meet for regional championship

The Region XI-A Tournament title will be on the line Tuesday evening when third-ranked Iowa Central hosts No. 9 Hawkeye inside Hodges Fieldhouse.

Action begins at 7 p.m. 

A win for the Tritons (18-3 overall) moves them into the NJCAA National Tournament while the RedTails (16-5) would head to a district championship. In the Region XI-B final, No. 5 Kirkwood hosts seventh-ranked Des Moines Area.

Iowa Central won its third consecutive regular season title, securing the Div. II crown in a league that features four teams ranked in the Top-10. The Tritons swept Hawkeye during the year, winning 3-0 and 3-1. 

This is also the third straight year that Iowa Central has reached a home regional final contest. The Tritons are 34-4 inside Hodges Fieldhouse during that time. 

Kealey Anderson, a returning All-American, leads the team with 272 kills. She also has 201 digs, 35 blocks, 25 aces and 16 assists on the year. 

Freshmen Katilyn Steffes and Angel Baylark have 182 and 176 kills with Baylark adding 76 blocks. Steffes also has 133 digs, 25 blocks and 16 aces. 

Alesha Johnson distributes the ball to all three main attackers, racking up 729 assists with 203 digs. Bailey Dugan, Baylyn Johnson and Karli Eckert all have over 100 digs. 

For Hawkeye, Amber Rickert leads the way with 250 kills. Emily Clapp and Jessica Jacobs have 167 and 164 with Haley Eckerman adding 126. Rickert, Clapp and Jacobs are sophomores while Eckerman is a freshman.

The RedTails went 15-5 in the conference, placing fourth. They have won two straight and are 7-3 on the road this year.

-By Dana Becker