The No. 11-ranked Cowley College volleyball team ran its winning streak to 16 matches in a row by going 4-0 at the Cowley Invitational on Friday and Saturday at W.S. Scott Auditorium.
The Lady Tigers (19-2) have the best start to the season under coach Steven Gream in his four years at the helm.
Cowley did not drop a set. The Lady Tigers opened with wins against Metropolitan 25-9, 25-14 ,25-17, and Central (Neb.) 25-20, 25-16, 29-27 on Friday.
Iva Halacheva led Cowley with 14 kills against Metropolitan, while Caroline Foster had 34 assists and 10 digs for her 13th double-double of the season. The team hit .366 with 40 kills and 11 service aces.
“We put a ton of pressure on MCC with our serve and strong defense. This opened up opportunities for our team to create holes and run our offense to allow our hitters to get aggressive swings against their team,” Gream said. “Alejandra Delgado set the tone early with serving aggressive with her six aces and aggressive defense, while Caroline Foster did a great job distributing the offense to create holes in their defense allowing our hitters to do their job.”
Halacheva led the way with 14 kills against Central. Elina Zlateva added 10 kills, followed by Kadie Smith with nine kills and Stephanie Bray with six. Cowley hit .194 with 43 kills, 13 aces, 43 digs and five blocks.
“We didn’t hit as well in this match, but our defense and serve still carried the way for us,” Gream said. “Our strong serve receive, defense and serving allowed us to get additional swings and put balls away at key times. That became even more evident in the third set where we had to dig deep and pulled out the 29-27 win.”
The Lady Tigers returned to the court Saturday and knocked off NJCAA D-I Barton 15-25, 25-22, 25-16, 25-20 before ending with a 25-15, 25-12, 25-21 victory against Northeastern Oklahoma A&M.
Halacheva led the team with 20 kills while leading the team with a .484 hitting percentage against Barton. Elina Zlateva had 13 kills, Stephanie Bray added nine, and Kadie Smith chipped in eight. Foster had 46 assists and Delgado led the team with 15 digs. Cowley hit .412 as a team.
Halacheva continued her hot play by leading Cowley with 18 kills against A&M. Elina Zlateva and Kadie Smith added seven kills each and Hannah Vanriette chipped in six. Cowley hit .369 for the match and continued a strong weekend of serving with 11 aces.
Caroline foster and Iva Halacheva were voted to the Cowley invitational all tournament team by the coaches of the tournament
The Lady Tigers play Wednesday at Kansas City.