Des Moines, IA - Coach Amber Zitzow and her #1 ranked Yellowjacket volleyball team knew that this weekends tournament in Des Moines would be their toughest test of the season so far, and they were up to the challenge. Despite going 2-2 on the weekend the Yellowjackets competed with and won against some of the top NJCAA Division II teams in the country.
On day one the Jackets went 1-1, falling in four sets to DII #7 ranked Highland Community College (25-20, 22-25, 22-25, 19-25). RCTC had three players in double digits in kills, with Hayley Dessner leading the way (19). Carrie Rutledge added 16, while AnnMarie Jalmasco added 11 and a .450 attack percentage. Molly Kleist chipped in 9 kills to help the cause. Brekking McCready dished out 51 assists to go along with 11 digs. Kate Bade lead the Jacket defense with 23 digs while Madison Sawyer had a career high 16 digs on the night.
RCTC bounced back in convincing fashion in the nightcamp downing DII Hawkeye Community College in straight sets (28-26, 25-22, 25-15). Dessner and Rutledge once again lead the way offensively with 15 and 10 kills respectively. Jalmasco and Kleist each added 7 kills. McCready had 40 assists and 3 service aces while Bade once again lead the defense with 12 digs and 3 service aces.
Day two started with another tough test as the Jackets took on DII #5 ranked Johnson County Community College. In a great match, RCTC came out on top 3-0 (25-22, 25-22, 25-22). Dessner had 13 kills, while Rutledge hammered out 12 and hit .367 on the day. McCready added 33 assists and Bade had 12 digs. It was the team hitting discrepancy that really told the story as RCTC hit at a .245 clip while holding JCC to only .078.
In the final match of the tournament RCTC took on the hosts from Des Moines Area Community College. In a defensive battle, DMACC held on for the win 3-1 (25-19, 17-25, 25-19, 26-24). The Yellowjackets had 101 digs in the match lead by Kate Bade's 28. Hayley Dessner added a career high 27 digs, while Carrie Rutledge had 16, Brekkin McCready had 14, and Jessica Storm added 10. On the offensive side of the ball, the Jackets got 27 kills from Rutledge, while Dessner added 12.
The Jackets are now back at home for three MCAC matches this week. RCTC takes on MN West at 6:30 on Wednesday, before facing Ridgewater at 6:30 on Friday and Minnesota State-Fergus Falls at noon on Saturday.
The Yellowjackets (22-2) have 6 remaining matches in the regular season before the NJCAA Region XIIIA playoffs.