CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — The top-seeded Cowley College volleyball team defeated eighth-seeded Kirkwood Community College (Iowa) 25-18, 25-17, 25-18 in Thursday night’s quarterfinal match at the NJCAA Division II National Championships at the Alliant Energy Powerhouse.

The Lady Tigers (40-0) had three players in double figures in kills.

It is the fourth time in program history that the Lady Tigers have reached the 40-win plateau.

Cowley advanced to Friday night’s semifinal match against Jayhawk Conference rival Johnson County (31-6).

The Lady Tigers never trailed in the opening set against the Lady Eagles (27-13). Cowley scored the first three points of the second set and never trailed.

Trailing for the first time in the match at 2-1 in set three, Cowley scored 11 of the next 14 points to lead 12-5 on a service ace by Rachele Tessari. The Lady Tigers remained in control and finished off the victory with a kill by freshman Lai Beougher.

Sophomore Iva Halacheva led Cowley with 18 kills, while Beougher and Tessari added 12 and 11 kills, respectively. Freshman setter Rossana Papa did another stellar job setting up the Lady Tiger hitters with 44 assists to go with a team-high 13 digs.

Cowley outhit the Lady Eagles .342 to .194 and had 11 service aces on the match.

The Lady Tigers faced Johnson County just once during the regular season, sweeping the Lady Cavaliers 25-23, 25-10, 25-22 in the conference opener for both teams.

The winner of Friday night’s match will play for the NJCAA Division II National Championship at 6:30 p.m. today.

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