Tigers Roundup: No. 3 men’s soccer, No. 5 women’s VB remain undefeated; No. 18 women’s soccer delivers upset

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From RAMA PEROO/Cowley College

Hosting non-conference opponent Rose State College Saturday at the Mark A. Phillips Athletic Complex, the No. 3-ranked Cowley College men’s soccer team, got a first-half goal from freshman Thiago Apolinario and made the lead stand up in the 1-0 victory.

With Saturday’s contest scoreless midway through the opening half, Apolinario received a pass from Carlos Noboa and rocketed a shot from 25 yards out into the top corner of the net. The goal for Apolinario was his fourth of the season, tying him with Sora Funakoshi and Shogo Haraikawa for the team lead.

Cowley controlled the game throughout as they out-shot Rose State 29-6 and placed 10 shots on goal to only one shot on goal by the Raiders.

Cowley freshman Jona Hellingrath recorded his third shutout in goal, while the shutout was the Tigers’ fifth in six games.

Cowley is now 6-0 on the season, while Rose State falls to 3-2.

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Tiger head coach Ruy Vaz said Saturday’s game was important for the team to give some other players on the roster playing time.

“Non-conference games are important for tests and playing time maintenance,” Vaz said. “Overall, it was a good performance; we were able to control all the phases of the game, and (Thiago) scored a beautiful goal.”

Cowley will attempt to remain unbeaten when they host Coffeyville Wednesday at 7 p.m. The Red Ravens, winners of three games in a row, are 4-1-2 overall and 1-1 in the Jayhawk Conference.

“Coffeyville is a big rival, and we need everyone to be ready for this battle,” Vaz said.

No. 5-ranked Lady Tigers make a statement with win at Butler; blast Ottawa JV

Taking a step up in competition, the Cowley College volleyball team remained unbeaten on the season with a convincing 25-17, 25-21, 26-24 win over NJCAA Division I opponent Butler Community College Friday in El Dorado. The Lady Tigers returned home on Saturday and took down the Ottawa University JV 26-24, 25-15, 25-13.

Cowley, fifth in the NJCAA Division II rankings, is now 9-0 on the season.

On Friday, the Lady Tigers followed the game plan of serving aggressively, balancing their attack, and playing solid defense, which made Butler uncomfortable on offense.

Freshman Sara Puskus led Cowley with 13 kills, while Laura Bonomi added her fifth double-double on the season with 12 kills and 15 digs.

“Sara provided a strong balance in our attack with Butler so focused on our outside hitters,” Cowley head coach Steven Gream said. “Laura was also a solid presence on the court with her strong attack and defensive skills that allowed us to keep pressure on Butler.”

Sophomore Sadie Kabisch recorded a career-high 28 digs in the win, and Cowley limited Butler to a .120 hitting percentage.

“Our defense really stepped up in this match,” Gream said.

The loss drops Butler’s record to 7-5 on the season.

Cowley then returned home to face the Ottawa University JV on Saturday. The Braves pushed Cowley in the opening set before the Lady Tigers were able to get into a rhythm and pull away in sets two and three.

“The Ottawa JV are very competitive and have actually beat some teams in our conference and played other conference teams tight,” Gream said. “I think coming off of the big win against Butler and the long week we had, we just came out a little flat.”

Bonomi led Cowley with 18 kills while recording a team-leading .552 hitting percentage.

“Laura is playing good volleyball right now on both the attack and on defense,” Gream said. “She is fearless and puts a lot of pressure on our opponents on both sides of the ball.”

Puskas had another stellar day with nine kills while hitting .421 with two blocks and two aces. Valarie Luna was also a force on offense and defense with her eight kills while hitting .462 with two blocks and multiple block touches.

Freshman Lu Ceroni also stepped in and did a solid job with five kills, two blocks, and an ace.

“She gave us new life at the end of the first set and carried that on into the second and third set,” Gream said.

After recording 38 assists in the win over Butler, sophomore Rossana Papa once again led the offense with 42 assists in the win over Ottawa.

Cowley will attempt to improve its record to 4-0 in the Jayhawk Conference when they play at Highland Community College on Wednesday at 6 p.m. The Lady Scotties are just 4-6 overall, but 2-1 in the conference.

“As with all of our conference matches, we will need to be as prepared as we can be and be ready to play at a high level,” Gream said. “Playing a conference team on the road is always tough, so we have to have a laser focus on the court and play our game.”

No. 18 Cowley women’s soccer team shocks Butler with late comeback

For the second time in as many games, the No. 18-ranked Cowley College women’s soccer team trailed late in the contest before rallying. This time, the Lady Tigers scored two goals in the final three minutes of Saturday’s game at Butler Community College to come from behind and knock off the Lady Grizzlies 4-3 at BG Products Veterans Sports Complex in El Dorado.

Cowley never led in Saturday’s opening half, yet went into halftime tied 2-2 thanks to goals from Hina Susuki and Nanaka Inaba.

Butler would go ahead 3-2 in the 63rd minute as freshman Alex Robson scored her first goal of the season. The score would remain that way until Susuki netted her second goal to tie the game in the 87th minute.

Less than two minutes later, with just over one minute remaining in regulation, Cowley would strike again as Lea Evin headed in a goal off an assist from an Inaba corner kick, and the Lady Tigers pulled out the thrilling come-from-behind win.

“One word to describe our game against Butler is resilience,” Cowley head coach Roberto dos Santos said. “I am very proud of how the team handled the game and the adversities. At no time did they doubt they could win the match. I am happy for their hard work.”

Cowley improves its record to 3-0-1 in the Jayhawk Conference. The Lady Tigers will return home to take on Coffeyville Community College Wednesday at 5 p.m. The Red Ravens are 2-3 overall and 1-3 in conference play.

“Every team in our conference presents a good challenge, and Coffeyville won’t be any different,” dos Santos said. “It will be another challenge we must overcome.”

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