College of the Ozarks Lady Bobcats claimed the Association of Independent Institutions Conference Championship on Saturday, as they defeated Kentucky Christian University 3-0 in the semi-finals and Lincoln Christian University in the Championship match by scores of 25-11, 25-15, and 25-16.
College of the Ozarks started off the day as the number one seed, facing fourth-seeded Kentucky Christian University on Saturday afternoon in the semi-finals of the A.I.I. Championship tournament.
It took the Lady Cats less than an hour to collect the win, defeating the Knights 25-8, 25-20, and 25-17. College of the Ozarks posted an attacking percentage of .271 as Kentucky Christian hit .036. The Bobcats tallied 42 kills and 58 digs against 26 kills and 49 digs by the Knights.
Leading the Lady Cats in the stat charts against KCU were: Kayli Grant and Rielly Dobbs with 8 kills apiece; Grant and Kaylan Smith contributed 4 blocks; Haley Stallings scooped 21 digs; Dobbs dished 30 assists; and Danielle Curnes aced three serves.
In the Championship game against the host Red Lions of Lincoln Christian University, the Lady Cats continued to dominate in the stats column, posting 44 kills to Lincoln Christian’s 23. College of the Ozarks’ attacking percentage was .242 compared to .038 for the Red Lions.
Danielle Curnes, who was honored with the 2017 A.I.I. Volleyball Player of the Year award at the tournament’s opening banquet, lived up to her title throughout the weekend. In the championship game, Curnes posted a double-double with 10 kills and 15 digs. Haley Stallings, named as A.I.I. Libero of the Year, collected a team-leading 18 kills, and A.I.I. Setter of the Year Rielly Dobbs provided 35 assists. Kaylan Smith and Hannah Bracker tallied three blocks each, and Ryley Thixton added 3 service aces.
The Lady Cats’ two wins on Saturday improved their overall record to 30-6. College of the Ozarks’ victory in the A.I.I. Championship qualifies them for a trip to the opening round of the NAIA National Championship. An announcement of the match time and location is yet to be announced.