Volleyball finishes eighth at nationals
WEST PLAINS, Mo. – The NIC volleyball team lost three of its four games at the National Junior College Athletics Association (NJCAA) tournament Nov. 15-17.
The Lady Cardinals, who qualified for nationals by placing second in the Region 18 tournament, matched up against the Hillsborough Community College Hawks from Tampa Bay, Fla., Saturday but lost in straight sets.
Yang Yang led with 20 kills, 21 digs and four blocks against the Hawks. Allison Meehan set up 19 assists in the game for NIC and Rosie Robison had 23 digs and 3 aces.
The Lady Cardinals finished 23-8 and Yang was selected to the all-tournament team.
Before leaving for West Plains, head coach Kandice Gregorak said she felt good about the team’s chances at the NJCAA national tournament.
“We are going to be one of the smaller teams playing at nationals,” Gregorak said. “As long as we pass well and keep our offense fast I think we’re going to be in good shape. I told the girls not to have any regrets at the end of nationals because you were tired or had a little ache here or there. We have to give it all we have and leave our hearts out on the court.”
On Friday, Nov. 16, NIC played the Central Florida Patriots.
Yang had 18 kills, 15 digs and four blocks as the seventh-seeded Cardinals lost to the sixth-seeded Patriots 25-21, 25-23, 25-23.
“If we have lots of communication, lots of heart and just passion I think that will carry us through the tournament,” Kaitlyn Molloy said before leaving for the national tournament.
On Thursday, Nov 15, NIC played two matches.
In the second match NIC faced the Western Nebraska Cougars.
Despite 16 kills, 10 digs and five blocks from Yang, NIC lost to second-seeded Western Nebraska 26-24, 23-25, 25-16, 25-21 in the second round of the tournament on the campus of Missouri State University–West Plains.
Earlier in the day NIC battled the Lady Dragons of Hutchinson Community College from Hutchinson, Kan.
Yang had 16 kills and 10 digs as the Cardinals defeated Hutchinson 25-20, 25-15, 25-19 in the opening round.
Molloy had 10 kills and four blocks, Robinson 13 digs, Meehan 15 assists and Brooklynn Bradbury 18 assists and three aces for NIC.
College of Southern Idaho (CSI) defeated Western Nebraska in straight sets with scores of 25-20, 25-21, 25-20 to win the national title, the Lady Golden Eagles’ 10th national championship in school history.
Keani Passi of CSI (33-1) was named tournament MVP and CSI coach Heidi Cartisser was selected as coach of the tournament.