Local duo takes in NAIA Volleyball Championship experience

Thursday, December 7, 2017
(Sentinel Photo By Allen Hamil) Above, Haley Delperdang (25) goes through the congratulatory line after Dordt Colleges pool play win over Northwest (Wash.) on Wednesday. While not getting into the match, Delperdang helped the fourth-ranked team earlier in the season when a teammate was out with an injury.

SIOUX CITY A pair of Plymouth County graduates have made impacts on the volleyball court right away as freshmen and are now taking in the experience of playing in the NAIA Womens Volleyball Championship at the Tyson Events Center this past week.

Krista Zenk, a Le Mars Community graduate, is one of the top attackers for Morningside College in her first season. She says she is glad to have the opportunity to play in the event.

Haley Delperdang, a Remsen St. Marys graduate, has also played a role on one of the top teams in the country in Dordt College. Last years national runner-up after losing to Hastings College in the championship game, the Defenders are trying to return to the title game, something Delperdang believes is in reach for the team.

I definitely think we can get back there again this year, Delperdang said. It would be great to be champions. We have to have our goals set high, and they are, and just believe in ourselves and know that we can do it.

The freshman saw the court in the early part of the season, but has seen her playing time diminish after a midseason return of an injured teammate. Delperdang averaged two kills per match played for the fourth-ranked team in the country entering the tournament. She would like to get back on the court and says her experience earlier in the season will help her if and when the opportunity presents itself.

One of the players came back from a shoulder injury, Delperdang said. Its great that shes back. It stinks that Im not able to play, but its great being able to support her and help her out too. Its nice to have that experience and know what to look forward to.

Both Zenk and Delperdang agree its nice to be able to play for a championship in their own backyard.

Its really nice to be super close to home, Zenk said. Its just nice to have the school come and support us and parents can always come. Its nice to see familiar faces in the crowd.

Delperdang watched last years title game as a recruit and is excited to be back and on the team this season.

Its really cool being in this experience, Delperdang said. Its just such a great environment and its so great to be back.

Bracket play for the NAIA Championship begins on Friday, December 1 with the Round of 16 and quarterfinals. Saturday morning, December 2, will feature the two semifinal contests while a National Champion will be crowned at 7 p.m. at the Tyson Events Center. The championship match will also be streamed by Hastings College Media on ESPN3.