116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS – The ending was a little bittersweet.
Kirkwood capped the irregular volleyball season on a good note, winning its final match. It also was the last match some will play together.
“It’s tough,” Kirkwood sophomore Anna Gorsich said. “It’s crazy because I’ve never had a season this long. It was eight or nine months being with these girls. It is sad that it’s finally come to an end.”
The fifth-ranked Eagles swept No. 6 Catawba Valley (N.C.), 25-15, 25-22, 25-19 to place seventh in the NJCAA Division II volleyball tournament on Thursday at Alliant Energy PowerHouse. Kirkwood closed the season with a 20-6 mark.
”We wanted to end with a win,” Gorsich said. “We were hoping after the loss to Johnson to get fifth place, but it was hard to come back after that. We were a little more exhausted and down after that tough loss. I was just glad that we were able to come back and finish with a win.
“We knew we had to have more energy, but we also wanted to put everything out there because it is our last match of the season.”
Gorsich is uncertain of whether she will choose to focus on studies or take advantage of any athletic opportunities. The 2019 honorable mention All-American left an imprint on the Kirkwood program. She led the team with 247 kills, averaging 2.66 per set, and 34 aces this season.
For her career, Gorsich amassed 748 kills with 2.93 kills per set and .159 kill percentage, 606 digs and 91 aces.
She battled a hamstring injury suffered in the postseason and played with a wrap around her right leg.
“I was healthy right before our regional final game against DMACC,” Gorsich said. “I had slightly pulled something. It’s getting better, but it was harder after that.”
Gorsich tallied 47 kills in four national tournament matches, including seven against Catawba Valley. Her final swing as an Eagle was a successful kill, concluding a four-point run and the match.
Katie Kopriva led the Eagles with 15 kills Thursday and Emily Strauss added eight
Maggie Peters had seven kills for Kirkwood, including one for the last point of the first set. Peters had three in a stretch that saw the Eagles score 10 of the last 12 points. Kopriva and Strauss produced back-to-back kills to seal the second.
Kirkwood has reached the national tournament 11 times and placed in the last three. The Eagles improved on a ninth-place finish in 2019. They were fourth in 2018.