Monday, October 23, 2017
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Metro Sports Report

KCC spikers earn No. 1 seed for regional

IOWA FALLS - The 13th-ranked Kirkwood Eagles took care of business Wednesday night and earned the No. 1 seed for the regional volleyball tournament that will begin in two weeks.

Kirkwood swept Ellsworth, 25-17, 25-13, 25-11, to clinch at least a tie for the Iowa Community College Athletic Conference title with one match remaining in the league.

Kirkwood raised its conference record to a perfect 7-0 with the  victory. Iowa Central and DMACC are tied for second place at 6-1, but  the Eagles have defeated both of those teams and would get the No. 1  seed for the regional if the race ends in a tie. Kirkwood closes out league play at home next Wednesday against Northeast Community College.

Ady Wintermote led Kirkwood with 14 kills and 13 digs in the win over Ellsworth. McKenzie  Petersen provided 10 kills and Margaret Micka had seven.

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Eagles whip Tritons for ICCAC lead

The Kirkwood Eagles have taken a few lumps from some of the top volleyball teams in the country this year, but the Eagles keep  battling and they keep swinging.

It paid off Wednesday night.

The 16th-ranked Eagles swept 17th-ranked Iowa Central, 28-26, 25-17,  25-19, in a showdown for the Iowa Community College Athletic Conference lead Wednesday night with typical grit and determination.

Kirkwood fell behind by six points in the first set and trailed by three points in the next two sets as well, but the Eagles stormed back each time for the big victory over the Tritons.

"It was just finding our rhythm and getting after it," said freshman Ady Wintermote, who led Kirkwood with 15 kills. "Once we're in rhythm, we can be a really good team. We can put anyone to the test."

The Eagles have played 12 ranked teams this season and have a 4-8 mark in those matches, but the freshman-packed lineup keeps improving and now has the inside track for the conference title.

"Each game is a growing opportunity," said Wintermote, who starred at South Hamilton High School. "When we go up against ranked teams it's not, 'Oh, no.' It's a time to make a name for ourselves.

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Kirgan, Braughton join softball league

Erica Kirgan will begin playing in the Iowa Women's Softball League next summer, but she's already made a big impact on the program.

Erica, a graphic design major at Upper Iowa University, created the new IWSL logo that we've been using since September and will continue to feature in years to come.

"Erica designed a terrific logo that gives our league a distinctive look," said league president Jim Ecker. "She's obviously a very talented graphic artist and an equally talented athlete."

Erica set a career record at Upper Iowa University with 27 home runs and finished with 113 RBIs. She helped the Peacocks reach the NCAA  Division II playoffs in 2016 and win the Northern Star Conference title that year as a corner infielder and catcher.

(CLICK HERE TO SEE COMPLETE LIST OF PLAYERS)

Erica graduated from Upper Iowa in 2016 and now works as a graphic artist at Rock Communications in Newton.

Erica will serve as a player/coach in the Iowa Women's Softball League next summer and is actively helping us form the new Central Division that will play in Indianola and Ames.

(CLICK HERE TO REGISTER)

Erica starred at Ankeny High School, where she helped them win the Class 5A state title in 2012. She was a two-time all-state selection  and finished in the top-5 in school history in home runs, RBIs, hits and doubles.

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KCC assistant Blank re-signs with Bandits

ROSEMONT, Ill. – The Chicago Bandits of the National Pro Fastpitch league have re-signed first baseman Megan Blank to a one-year deal, team officials announced on Tuesday afternoon on the team's official website.

Blank is also in her first season as an assistant coach for the Kirkwood softball team.

Blank, who initially signed with the Bandits via open tryouts prior to the 2015 season, recently completed her third season with the  team. Following a pair of Cowles Cup championship seasons in 2015 and 2016, the former Iowa standout enjoyed a successful 2017 campaign in which she batted .263 with three home runs and 17 RBI. The three long balls ranked second on the team, only trailing rookie catcher Sahvanna Jaquish (6).

“I’m looking forward to my fourth season with the Bandits,” Blank said. “The organization is second to none and I can’t wait to help bring the Cowles Cup back to Chicago and back to the best fans in  the NPF.”

Blank, originally from Culver City, CA, continued to excel from the left side of the plate during her third year in the NPF. The four-time All-Big Ten First Team selection set career highs in walks (13) and runs (16) as part of a Bandits team that reached the postseason for the 10th consecutive season.

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Jones, Ryan, Craig join IWSL for 2018

Haley Jones, Maddy Ryan and Brooke Craig were three of the top players in the Iowa Women's Softball League this past summer.

Now all three college juniors have enrolled in the league again for the 2018 campaign.

Jones and Ryan are the third and fourth players from Coe College to register for next year. All told, 16 players have already enrolled for 2018 since registration began Sept. 1.

(CLICK HERE TO SEE COMPLETE LIST OF PLAYERS)

Jones, a middle infielder from Waterloo West,hit .341 as a sophomore  for the Kohawks last season with 10 home runs and 40 RBIs. She was named first team all-conference in the Iowa Conference.

(CLICK HERE TO REGISTER)

Ryan, an outfielder and pitcher from Linn-Mar, hit .359 as a sophomore with two homers and 27 RBIs. She compiled a 3-0 record and 0.00 ERA as a pitcher, not allowing any runs in 22 innings. She was named an Academic All-American for the Kohawks.

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