Longtime local volleyball coach Dennis South, who recently passed away at age 61, will be honored today as Iowa Western re-names The Reiver Festival volleyball tournament to the Dennis South Memorial Classic.
“What better way to recognize him throughout the tournament than by naming the tournament after him,” Iowa Western coach Alicia Williams said. “We’re going to miss him dearly, especially this weekend. This is a weekend that we’re playing, and we’re also mourning.”
South was halfway through his fourth season with IWCC. Williams said South was the primary statistician, the go-to-man for anything analytical for volleyball.
“He was a really important part for us,” Williams said. “Won us a lot of points just by the analytical side of things.”
South coached at Lewis Central previous to IWCC for several years and was well known to the small-knit volleyball community. Williams said they were thinking of things they could do that wasn’t a one-and-done deal.
“He has a legacy with volleyball in our community,” Williams said. “We wanted to carry on his name. A small token of appreciation for what he did for volleyball in our community.”
No. 7 Iowa Western will play the first match of the tournament today at 1 p.m. against No. 18 Panola (Texas). The Reivers are 18-5 on the season and have won 11 straight. The 7 p.m. nightcap for Iowa Western will pit two-top 10 teams against each other. Seward County (Kansas) is the No. 3 team in the NJCAA with a record of 15-2. There will be a moment of silence for Dennis South before the Seward County match.
Saturday, Iowa Western faces Colby at 10 a.m. IWCC finishes the tournament with another top-10 showdown, facing No. 4 New Mexico Military Institute (NM) and their perfect 25-0 record at 4 p.m.