Titans Volleyball places sixth in national tournament
The Terra State Titans Volleyball team finished sixth overall in the NJCAA Division II national championship in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, capping last year’s most successful season.
Titans Volleyball finished with a 35-5 overall record, finishing 31-3 during the regular season and 6-2 in post-season play.
After winning the first match against Lake-Sumter State College in five sets (20-25, 25-20, 16-25, 25-23, 15-6), the team dropped their second match to Parkland College in four sets (24-26, 14-25, 25-20, 12-25), knocking them out of the potential final four and sending them into the consolation bracket. Once in the consolation bracket, the Titans defeated Heartland Community College (25-20, 14-25, 25-16, 23-25, 15-10). However, they fell to Sauk Valley Community College in four sets (23-25, 25-22, 20-25, 26-28) to finish in sixth place.
Titans Volleyball, led by Head Coach Stephanie Champine, is proud of the team’s success. “Being at the NJCAA tournament is an amazing experience. We battled and pushed all season to make it here to compete against the best. Going to nationals back-to-back is a difficult task. There are multiple teams in our conference that have never gone. We made it look easy because of the work ethic of these ladies and the mindset to outwork their opponents. I am happy we finished 6th in the nation after getting 9th in the nation just last semester,” said Champine.
“The Lady Titans performed well in their trip to the NJCAA “Sweet 16” National Tournament. Returning for the second year in a row is quite an accomplishment, and we are extremely proud of the ladies and coaches. They have set the bar very high, and we look forward to everyone building on that as we move forward,” said Gregg Hedden, athletic director.
Olivia Materni led the way as the highest scorer for the tournament. She was fierce at the net, leading the Titans with 77 kills, contributing the second most digs over the tournament and added on 11 aces. Elizabeth Wells and Morgan Green followed Materni in kills with 50 and 31, respectively.
Karagyn Durco led the team with 40 digs and also had 185 assists in tournament play. Materni and Abby Yost also contributed 38 digs apiece.
“Looking ahead to next season, we want more. Our team wants to earn a national championship win, and I am working hard to recruit a team to do just that,” said Champine.