The No. 1-ranked and top-seeded Cowley College volleyball team showed they will be the team to beat with a dominating 25-5, 25-12, 25-7 win over Montgomery College (Md.) Thursday in the First-Round of the NJCAA Division II National Championship played at the Alliant Energy Powerhouse in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Cowley (39-0) advances to play tonight at 7:30 p.m. against the winner of the Kirkwood vs. McHenry County match. The winner of tonight's match will advance to Friday's semifinal match at 6:30 p.m.
Cowley came out swinging in its opening match against the Raptors as they scored the first four points of set one and led 10-2 following a service ace by freshman Landry Cate. The Lady Tigers kept the pressure on thanks to an incredible eight service aces in the 25-5 win of set one. Freshman Gyongyver Araczki had four of Cowley's eight aces in set one.
Fellow freshman Rossana Papa started off set two with another ace as Cowley once again got off to a fast start, leading 5-1. The Raptors put up a bit more of a fight in set two, but they were still no match for the Lady Tigers in the 25-12 loss.
Cowley would score the first three points of the third set and led 12-3 after three straight aces by freshman Rachele Tessari. The Lady Tigers would cruise to the 25-7 win with the final point coming on Papa's seventh service ace.
With the loss, the Raptors are now 17-9 on the season.
Unofficially, Cowley finished with 19 service aces and were led by sophomore Iva Halacheva's 14 kills. Freshman Laci Beougher added eight kills, while Tessari finished with seven kills and five aces.
Cowley needs just one more win to achieve 40 wins in a season for only the fourth time in program history.