CHARLESTON, W. Va. — Coffeyville (Kansas) Community College used a first-round 3-2 win over Northeastern Oklahoma A&M as a springboard for its first-ever NJCAA Division II volleyball national championship.
The Lady Ravens, who won all five meetings over the course of the season with NEO, upset No. 1 seed Owens Community College of Toledo, Ohio, 3-1 in Saturday’s title match at the Charleston Civic Center.
After their loss to CCC, the Lady Norse defeated Mott Community College of Flint, Michigan, 3-1 then were eliminated with a 3-1 loss to Iowa Central.
“We played really good in the second one (vs. Mott) then just got into one of those matches in the third where we made some costly unforced errors at the wrong time in the fourth set. That happens” Lady Norse coach Eric Iverson said.
“The kids played really, really well. They didn’t play timid. They played aggressive. They were in it.”
In the Coffeyville match, the teams alternated sets, the Lady Ravens winning the first (25-21) and third (25-11) and NEO the second (25-22) and fourth (25-19).
Coffeyville won the deciding set 15-13.
“We were just one point away from sending it into extra points in the fifth set,” Iverson said. “If we score two more points, we knock them out in the first round.”
Against Mott, the Lady Norse claimed 25-18 and 25-16 wins before Mott notched a 29-27 win in the third set.
NEO closed out the match with a 25-22 win thanks to a kill by Juliette Moore on a set by Marley Hensley, her ninth of the match.
Adna De Andrade and Charity Burdette each had 10 kills for the Lady Norse.
Zoe Renfro had a team-best 19 digs while Burdette and Thalianette Garcia logged 16 each. Hensley and Crystal Montanez were the assist leaders with 23 and 16, respectively.
Against Iowa Central, the Lady Panthers took the first set 25-19 then NEO tied the match with a 25-16.
Iowa Central then posted 25-14 and 26-24 wins to close things out.
Garcia was the Lady Norse dig leader with 10 and Renfro had nine.
Montanez and Hensley posted 10 assists and Garcia had 10 kills.
“Everybody played pretty well,” Iverson said. “Charity Burdette played well. She was very consistent and very competitive. I thought she was that all year. Her growth over two years, you could see. She really blossomed this weekend. She had a really outstanding tournament.”
The Lady Norse finished with a 23-12 record.
“We were pretty darn close with a really young team,” Iverson said. “We very easily could have won all three matches. We had outstanding opportunity to knock them (the Lady Ravens) off in the first round.”