Volleyball reflects on national title
The NJCAA Division II national champion Cowley College volleyball team returned home to a heroes welcome as they were greeted with a celebration inside W.S. Scott Auditorium on Nov. 25.
The Lady Tigers accomplished numerous feats throughout the 2013 season, including being ranked No. 1 in the country from the first day of the polls to the last.
Cowley finished the season unbeaten in the Jayhawk Conference Eastern Division (10- 0) and won its final 14 matches. The Lady Tigers finished the season with a record of 35-4 and extended its home court-winning streak to 60 matches in a row.
The players and coaches received a police escort through town as Volleyball reflects on national title they proceeded to W.S. Scott Auditorium. Fans lined up outside the gym and filled the west side of the auditorium to show support of their national champion volleyball team.
Cowley head coach Jenifer Bahner, the NJCAA Division II National Coach of the Year, along with assistant
coach Riann Mullis, spoke at the event as did the team’s sophomores.
“Our sophomore class deserves a huge amount of credit,” Bahner said. “After losing in last year’s title game, they had something to fight for. We are so proud of them.”
Trailing Parkland (IL) 9-3 in the fifth and final set of Saturday’s national championship match, the Lady Tigers rallied to win 16-14.
“It was so surreal to come back and win that match, I really couldn’t believe it,” Bahner said.
The sophomores that spoke at the celebration mentioned the wonderful crowd support they have received during their two years at the school.
“I love this community with all my heart,” said Jessica McDougald, who was named to the
national All-Tournament team. “I will be leaving Cowley with the 12 greatest sisters I could
B.J. Specht, the national tournament Most Valuable Player, was still beaming when thinking of the Lady
Tigers’ come back in the national title game.
“The fight and determination we showed that last game was unbelievable,” Specht said. “It has been
an amazing journey.”
The sophomores finish their two years at the school with a pair of Jayhawk Conference
Eastern Division titles and a conference record of 20-0. They also captured a pair of district titles to go along with a national runnerup finish, and now a national championship.
“This was the most amazing season,” sophomore setter Katelynn Slade said. “I wouldn’t trade this for
McKenzie Hartzog and Tory Sharp round out the five sophomores on the team, while freshmen
McKenna Poynter, Kate Madsen, Shaeli Munroe, Lana Da Silva, Shanna Witt, Courtney Hoag,
and Rheid Tridle made valuable contributions to the team.
“There is so much joy and excitement in being able to accomplish what we set out to do,” Bahner
said. “Riann and I felt we had so much to prove this year and we are so proud of this team.”