CLINTON — The Clinton Community College volleyball team struggled to handle No. 9-ranked Des Moines Area CC’s quick offense and height advantage in Wednesday’s match at Yourd Gymnasium.

As a result, the Cougars suffered a 25-12, 25-6, 25-10 loss in Iowa Community College Athletic Conference action.

Clinton CC dropped to 2-13 this season (0-3 ICCAC).

“The girls are playing really hard in a lot of instances,” Clinton CC coach Joe Shovlain said. “I think they’re playing to their potential. We’re getting the most out of the girls we can.”

Ashley O’Neill (Calamus-Wheatland) had eight assists, four digs and two kills. Hannah Seibel (North Scott) had seven kills and four assists. Both O’Neill and Ashley Wimpey (East Central) went 5-for-5 serving.

The Cougars did not record a service ace in the match due, in part, to the Bears’ prominent serve receive.

DMACC then quickly passed to its setter, and attacks rocketed back over the net before Clinton’s outside hitters could arrive for a double block. The Bears’ speed also left the Clinton back row exposed to absorb, what Shovlain called, “punishing hits."

“The back row played with a lot of heart,” Shovlain said. “When they’re hitting it at you like that, it’s hard to come back and be in the right spot again. They were zinging it at us.”

DMACC’s size contributed to that.

The Bears’ front-row players, including former Preston standout Tiffany Bormann, averages 5 feet, 10 1/2 inches. They have six players listed at 5-foot-10 or taller and three players at or above 6-foot.

Clinton’s front row averages 5-foot-8. Seibel is Clinton’s tallest player at 5-foot-11.

“When they’ve got 6-foot-1 high school All-Americans hitting, and you’ve got girls at 5-7, 5-8 trying to block it, that’s tough,” Shovlain said.

Kendra Jenkins (Camanche) and Wimpey each recorded eight digs. Amber Lorenzen (Northeast) had five digs, while Heather Malmstrom (Fulton) and Caitlin Wagemester (Northeast) each had a solo block.

“Too often we’re like a rollercoaster,” Shovlain said. “We’ll play well, and then they’ll roll off six or seven points. We need to have a smooth ride throughout the game.”

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