By Sam Parsons
The Oskaloosa Indians hosted the Grinnell Tigers for their penultimate Little Hawkeye Conference matchup last night and celebrated their three seniors in the process. Pressley Blommers, Lucy Roach, and Maleah Walker have been the engine that has made the team go this year, and such was the case once again last night in the absence of Gracie DeRonde and Hayley Van Arkel, both of whom are now out for the season with injuries.
Grinnell took the advantage early in the first set, going up 12-9 on the Indians about midway through before Osky got on track, scoring 9 of the next 12 points. They held the Tigers off from any comeback attempts and won 25-21 to take a 1-0 lead. The Tigers, however, would prove to be anything but an easy out, as they once again jumped ahead early in set #2; and this time, they wouldn’t surrender their lead. The closest it got was 15-14 and the Tigers were able to even it up at 1-1 with a 25-21 win of their own.
The third set was the tightest one of the night. Oskaloosa roared to an 8-1 start courtesy of a brilliant stretch of serves by Roach, but Grinnell quickly made their way back into it and enjoyed a particularly momentous run when they trailed 16-10 to Osky and scored 9 out of the next 10 points to take a 19-17 lead. Osky was able to bounce back and they found their rhythm again, however; the set was tied 22-22 before the Indians notched back-to-back-to-back points to win it 25-22 and retake the lead.
The fourth set proved to be the last one of the night, and this time, Oskaloosa was able to recapture the form they found at the end of set #3. They kick-started things with a 7-2 lead and from there, they never let the Tigers take it back. The Indians were able to cruise to a victory in this set, 25-17, to finish the Tigers with a 3-1 win.
Oskaloosa (13-9) will host the Osky Invitational on Saturday before their regular season finale against Dallas Center-Grimes next Tuesday. Grinnell (9-16) will host Newton next Tuesday in their final regular season matchup.