Photo courtesy of East Central College
Union, Mo. - The East Central College volleyball team won the National Junior College Athletic Association Region 16/District P championship last weekend, securing the Falcons fourth trip to the NJCAA Division II National Tournament later this month in Toledo, Ohio.
The Falcons defeated Wentworth Military Academy in the regional finals, avenging a regular season loss to that team. They advanced to the tournament championship with an opening round victory over Cottey College and a four set win over Northeastern Oklahoma College in the semi-finals.
The Falcons (20-25) found their best form at the end of the regular season, beating Midwest Community College Athletic Conference rival Jefferson College in late October. The ECC women faced top 20 ranked NJCAA teams in 18 matches this season.
Several players were recognized for their outstanding play this season. Sophomores Megan Manis and Amanda Reetz received All-Region and All-Conference first team honors.
Sophomore Haley Zenner and freshman Paige Schmelzle were named honorable mention All-Conference. Coach Lisa Mathes-Peters was selected the Region 16 coach of the year for the second consecutive year.
At the conclusion of regional tournaments across the country this weekend, the Falcons will learn what team they will face in the first round of nationals November 21 at Owens Community College.
ECC last traveled to the NJCAA Nationals in 2010. They also played in the national tournament in 2008 and 2009, following the reinstatement of the sport at East Central in 2007.