Cowley Volleyball, Soccer Punch Tickets To National Tournaments As District Champs

Cowley volleyball is heading back to the national tournament. (Photos courtesy Cowley College)

By RAMA PEROO/Cowley College

The Cowley volleyball team is headed back to the national tournament and Tigers men’s soccer are district champions again.

Finishing as the national runner-up at last year’s national tournament, the No. 3-ranked Cowley College volleyball team is poised to make another run at the national title after capturing its second straight District B Championship with a 25-18, 25-15, 25-19 win over Kansas City Kansas Community College Saturday in Wichita, KS.

Kansas City finishes the season with a record of 24-3, while Cowley improves its record to 38-3.

“I thought we did a good job of being us,” Cowley head coach Steven Gream said. “We balanced the court, served aggressive, and kept pressure on them the entire match.”

Lady Tiger sophomore Rachele Tessari led Cowley with 16 kills and a .696 hitting percentage. Fellow sophomores Laci Beougher and Gyongyver Araczki added 14 and 10 kills, respectively.

With Cowley clinging to a 20-19 lead in set three, Araczki served back-to-back aces to help Cowley pull away.

“That was crucial,” Gream said. “From day one, the goal for our sophomores was to get back to the national tournament. They stuck to the plan, upped their game, and we are excited to get back to the national tournament.”

Freshman setter Vivianna Solis added 41 assists and 11 digs, while Anna Kiss finished with nine kills and 10 digs.

Cowley has won nine matches in a row and 16 of its past 17 matches entering the national tournament.

“We have played our hearts out to get to this point,” Beougher said. “I have never been around such an amazing group of teammates. We are all so passionate about what we want to accomplish, and I am really proud of my teammates and what we have accomplished this year.”

Cowley advances to play in the NJCAA Division II National Tournament November 17-19 in Cedar Rapids, IA.

“We want to be back in the championship match and finish it this year,” Gream said.

Cowley soccer repeats as district champs.

Freshman Mate Kenyeres scored the biggest goal in his career as a Cowley College Tiger as his overtime goal lifted the No. 15-ranked Tiger men’s soccer team to a 2-1 win over 13th-ranked Johnson County in the title game of the Plains District Soccer Tournament Saturday in Wichita.

Kenyeres’ goal helped Cowley repeat as District Champs.

“I am very proud of our players and coaching staff,” Cowley head coach Ruy Vaz said. “We have worked so hard to achieve this feat again, and our hard work keeps paying off.”

Saturday’s championship game was scoreless until the 65th minute when Cowley forward Yuki Nakamura scored an unassisted goal.

The Cavaliers tied the match at 1-1 in the 80th minute when Ashton Owen fired a shot in the back of the net on a loose ball off a corner kick.

The game would remain tied at the end of regulation and for nearly nine minutes of overtime when Kenyeres netted the game-winner, sending Cowley to the NJCAA Division I National Tournament to be played November 13-19 in Melbourne, FL.

“I am so happy for Naka and Mate for stepping up and being clutch; they deserve it,” Vaz said.

Cowley outshot the Cavaliers 28-6 and 12-3 on shots on goal.

“Johnson was a very tough opponent; they defend the box really well and have so much physicality,” Vaz said. “We had to be extremely patient to find the right gaps, and our players were locked in and showed great maturity.”

Cowley improves its record to 14-4 on the season, with three of the losses coming by forfeit. Johnson finishes the season with a record of 14-7.

This marks the fourth time in the past five seasons that Cowley has earned a chance to compete at the national tournament.

“It just shows how consistent we have been as a program. We are always hungry and work diligently to make things happen,” Vaz said. “The boys know that preparation is key.”

The Tigers will be one of 12 teams to compete at the national tournament.

“Obviously, we will have a go at the National Title; we have been preparing for that, but being one of the top 12 teams in the country is already a big honor,” Vaz said. “The boys should be proud. We will do our best to represent our community, families, and fans.”