College of the Ozarks Lady Bobcats recorded two big wins on Thursday, while competing in pool play of the NCCAA DI Women’s Volleyball National Championship tournament being hosted by the College.
The Lady Cats opened their day by facing Grace College from Winona Lake, Ind., who entered the tournament as the Midwest Region representative. The Lancers posted a 20-16 record leading up to the tournament.
CofO secured a 3-1 victory (28-26, 20-25, 25-14, 25-16), as they outhit the Lancers .221 to .108 for the match. Senior Alex Spears led the offensive attack with 13 kills, and she recorded 12 digs to add another double-double to her significant collection. Rielly Dobbs handed off 37 assists and recorded a double-double of her own by adding 10 kills. Haley Stallings collected 23 digs to lead the team and was aided by three teammates who posted double digit-digs for the match--Ryley Thixton (19), McKenna Miller (15) and Spears (12). Kaylan Smith was impressive at the net with three solo blocks and three block assists.
In the final match of Thursday’s pool play, the Lady Cats defeated Trinity International University of Deerfield, Ill. The Trojans held a record of 23-14 entering the tournament, serving as the North Central Region representative.
College of the Ozarks toped TIU by a 3-1 score, posting set scores of 25-21, 25-21, 24-26, and 25-17. The Cats’ hitting percentage was .244 for the match, with the Trojans hitting .198. Once again, Spears led the way by putting down 19 kills, as she nabbed 17 digs to collect her second double-double of the day. Partnering with Spears in the kills category were Grant and Dobbs with 15 and 10 respectively. Dobbs delivered 47 assists in the match—also doubling up for the second time on the day. Stallings led the defense with 30 digs, as Spears (17), Miller (14), and Shay Helsel (10) added to the tally. Grant also contributed three blocks for the Lady Cats.
Thursday’s victories improved the Lady Bobcats’ record to 32-5. They will return to the court at 10:00 AM on Friday for their final game of pool play. The top two teams in each pool will play at 4:30 p.m. or 6:30 p.m. later that day. Winners of the semi-final matches will compete for the Championship at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday.
Best wishes to the Lady Bobcats for continued success in the national championship tournament.