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September 9, 2013Top-ranked Lady Tigers go 4-0 at Kirkwood Tournament
Statement made! The Cowley College volleyball team showed why they are the No. 1-ranked team in NJCAA Division II by going 4-0 at the challenging Kirkwood Tournament played Friday and Saturday in Cedar Rapids, IA.
Cowley opened play Friday with a 25-15, 25-11, 25-8 win over Indian Hills before following that up with a 25-10, 25-16, 25-18 win over No. 8-ranked Kirkwood. The Lady Tigers came back on Saturday to defeat No. 3-ranked Parkland College 26-24, 25-21, 26-28, 25-15, before wrapping up a perfect weekend with a 25-16, 25-12, 25-14 victory over East Central (IL).
"I felt like we were challenged more this weekend than we had been so far and I was happy to see our team rise to the occasion," Cowley head coach Jenifer Bahner said. "Weekends like this one will help prepare our team for bigger games later in the season. Steady improvement is important during this time of our season and I fell like our team is doing a good job working toward improvement."
Sophomore libero McKenzie Hartzog had an eye-popping 81 digs in the first three matches as she helped Cowley improve its record to 11-0 on the season.
"Kenzie had a phenomenal weekend," Bahner said. "Our defense led by Kenzie is the element that put us above other teams. Defense is what won us the two big matches we played verse kirkwood and parkland."
B.J. Specht led Cowley in kills in the win over Indian Hills (10) and Kirkwood (13 kills), while freshman Shanna Witt led the Lady Tigers in kills against Parkland (15 kills) and East Central (12 kills).
"Shanna had a great weekend offensively," Bahner said. "She is a competitor and loves the pressure of big games. It was great to see a freshman hitter lead our team in such a big game verse parkland. Shanna was our go to hitter that match. As coaches we trusted that if we needed a point Shanna could get the job done."
Sophomore Katelynn Slade made it easy on the hitters by contributing 136 kills in four matches.
Cowley will remain on the road playing at Independence Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. The Lady Pirates have struggled to a record of 1-10 on the season.
"Independence is a conference game and will be an important win for us in conference and region standings," Bahner said.