Cowley volleyball takes undefeated record into national semifinals Friday

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From RAMA PEROO/Cowley College

As was the case in its first game at the national tournament, the top-seeded Cowley College volleyball team was in a battle for the first two sets before finding its footing and pulling away in the third set for another three-set win. This time, the Lady Tigers defeated No. 8-seed Illinois Central Community College 25-21, 25-21, 25-11 Thursday at the NJCAA Division II Volleyball National Championships played in Cedar Rapids, IA.

“Everyone had a great night doing their job on the court,” Cowley head coach Steven Gream said. “That makes for a solid game that creates pressure. And that pressure allowed us to make the runs we did to pull out each set and take over in the third set.”

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The victory improves Cowley’s record to 39-0 on the season. The Lady Tigers advance to the semifinals where they will face 12th-seed Pensacola State (FL) on Friday at 4 p.m. Pensacola State (33-3) upset No. 5-seed Iowa Central before taking down fourth-seed Johnson County in three sets.

Sophomore Anna Kiss again led Cowley in kills with 11, while freshman Sara Puskas added 10. Sophomore setter Rossana Papa had a double-double in the victory, finishing with 30 assists and a team-high 13 digs.

The loss drops Illinois Central’s record to 32-11.

“Illinois central is a quality team,” Gream said. “They played very well against Richard bland in the previous match, so we knew we had to bring our A game. The best advice I gave the players is that we just need to be us and that is what we did. We balanced our attack with everyone getting touches and used our speed to create holes and tire them.

“We also put pressure on them with our serve which prohibited them from staying in system and we also played strong defense. Those 4 things is what we have done all season and we were able to do in the match.

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