Holy Toledo! Lady Tiger volleyball team brings home the program’s first ever national title
Having finished as the national runner-up in 2005 and 2009, the Cowley College volleyball team left no doubt as to who the best team in the nation was in 2011 as they defeated Oakland (MI) Community College 23-25, 25-18, 25-21, 25-21 in the title match of the NJCAA Division II National Volleyball Tournament played Saturday, Nov. 19 in Toledo, OH.
Cowley, which was ranked No. 1 throughout the majority of the season, finishes the year with a 22-match win streak and a record of 38-2. Oakland ends the year with a record of 41-4.
For Lady Tiger head coach Jenifer Bahner it has been a whirlwind season.
“It has all been so surreal, I am still trying to soak it all in,” Bahner said. “Winning the national championship was such an exciting moment for the girls.”
For the second time in the tournament Cowley had to rally after dropping the first set.
“We knew Oakland was a great team but we never stopped fighting and competing,” Bahner said. “We had so many girls contribute in so many different ways.”
Sophomore setter Molley Scanlon was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player as she consistently put her teammates in position to be successful.
“Molley has worked so hard all year and has shown so much maturity and leadership,” Bahner said. “I was so excited for her to get that award.”
Joining Scanlon on the all-tournament team was sophomore outside hitter Danika Maggard and freshman right side hitter Martyna Gluchowicz.
After getting slighted on the all-conference selections, Maggard’s play did not go unnoticed at the national tourney.
“She has done such great things for us this season and has grown so much as a player,” Bahner said. “She had a phenomenal tournament.”
Like she has done all season, Gluchowicz led the Lady Tigers in kills during their four matches at the national tournament, and fittingly scored the final point, which clinched the title.
“Martyna has been our go to person all season and is very deserving of
the honor,” Bahner said.
Bahner was proud of the contributions of each member of the squad, whether they were contributing on the court or were cheering their teammates on from the sideline.
Looking for a sixth person to provide a lift at the national tournament, Cowley got that from freshman outside hitter Georgina Perez.
“She did a great job hitting around the blocks and played some of her best defense of the season,” Bahner said.
Cowley’s five sophomores, Scanlon, Maggard, Goda Jankauskaite, Emily Barto, and Shanna Seyfarth, played vital roles in leading Cowley to an undefeated season in the conference and ultimately a national championship.
“Their determination and drive to leave here at the top, pushed them to be their best on a daily basis,” Bahner said.