No. 1 Lady Tigers return to Nationals

Photo courtesy COWLEY COLLEGE

WICHITA — The No. 1-ranked Cowley College volleyball team is on its way to the National tournament for the first time since 2017.

The Lady Tigers rolled to a 25-22, 25-20, 25-19 victory Saturday afternoon against Kansas City in the championship match of the NJCAA D-II Plains District A Playoffs at Friends University.

Cowley advanced to the NJCAA Division II National Tournament, set for Nov. 18-20 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

The Lady Tigers (38-0) have dropped just three sets all season, sweeping opponents in 35 matches.

“I thought we battled very well against a very tough KCK team,” Cowley coach Steven Gream said. “We overcame some mistakes and continued to play for each other.”

Cowley trailed set one 14-13 before scoring seven of the next nine points to lead 20-16. The Lady Blue Devils (22-11) rallied to pull to within 22-20.

The Lady Blue Devils held a 7-5 lead in set two before Rachelle Tessari rattled off six straight points. An ace by Gyongyver Araczki helped Cowley’s lead grow to 15-9.

Aroczki registered back-to-back kills, followed by an ace by Tessari to give the Lady Tigers an early 6-3 lead in set three.

Sophomore Iva Halacheva, who led Cowley with 15 kills and two aces, is looking forward to her first national tournament appearance.

“We have great chemistry and work together well on the court,” Halacheva said. “We don’t like to lose and knew early on in the season that we had something special. We just need to keep doing what we have been doing all year and we will be fine.”

Tessari added nine kills, 15 digs and three aces, while freshman Laci Beougher and Araczki added 12 kills apiece.

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