With a great group of faithful fans, students, faculty, staff, and parents in tow, the Spartans traveled on Saturday, November 9, to Fort Dodge to play the seventh ranked Kirkwood Eagles for the Region XI Pool B Championship. The Spartans knew they would have a tough time beating the perennially strong Eagles, and that became abundantly clear in the first game. The Spartans narrowly dropped the game 31-33. Head Coach Melissa Blessington said, “Game one may have been our most intense game of the year. Our girls didn’t seem to miss a beat. We were up in that game, so we knew we just needed to continue to execute in the next match.”
“In game two, we got the win and that seemed to give us confidence for game three. Even though we did get down in game three the girls knew they could push and get the win. We were up in game four by a large amount, I believe 10 at one point. Our girls did get a little bit tentative and allowed Kirkwood to get back in there.”
The Spartans won the last three close matches in a row 25-21, 25-23, and 25-23.
“It was so fitting that Janaya Fox scored the game winning point for our team,” said Blessington. “She was a work horse for us and did a great job in the front row and the back row. This was such a great win for these girls. Not only does it justify the amount of hard work these girls have put in but it gives us a realistic view of what we will see at nationals. Our team understands how to play in the moment and not let it be so big that it takes over. We are excited to be going to nationals. It has been 13 years and we are going to keep pushing ourselves to get better to represent our region at nationals!”
This win not only extends the Spartans winning streak to 13, but also earned them a spot in the 2013 NJCAA Division II Volleyball National Championship to be held at Owens Community College in Toledo, OH, on November 21-23. More information will be provided when the championship brackets have been determined.
SWCC defeated Kirkwood CC
31-33, 25-21, 25-23, 25-23
Kills: Janaya Fox 23, Cassidy Yong 11, Allyson Kocour 10, Alex Duffy 10, Mel Mangrum 7, Shelby Sullivan 7
Assists: Cassidy Yong 51
Digs: Molly Schimp 54, Ashley Strong 25, Janaya Fox 23, Cassidy Yong 21
Blocks: Allyson Kocour 8, Mel Mangrum 4, Alex Duffy 3
Serving: Janaya Fox 15/15 - 2 Aces, Molly Schimp 20/22 - 1 Ace