CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Central Community College ended its season with three straight wins at the NJCAA Division II national volleyball tournament in Charleston, West Virginia.
The eighth-seeded Raiders avenged a loss earlier in the season to No. 10 Iowa Central with a thrilling, five-set win over the Tritons in Saturday’s ninth-place match.
“It was a great ending to the tournament and season,” Central head coach Mary Young said.
Central jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the match, winning the first two sets by two points each, 25-23, 27-25. The Raiders got out of rhythm in Sets 3 and 4 as Iowa Central dominated those sets 25-18, 25-12.
CCC regrouped and narrowly won the fifth set 17-15 to take the match.
“We didn't win very pretty, but we found a way to pull together and fight for the win in the fifth set,” Young said.
After losing in straight sets Thursday to No. 9 Cowley County Community College, the Raiders beat No. 16 Harcum and No. 12 Northeast Community College on Friday to give themselves a top-10 finish at the national tournament.
“We finished with three solid wins, and any time you complete a season with a win it's a great thing,” said Young, whose team also avenged an October loss to Northeast.
Chainey Tompkin had a team-high 14 kills and Amber Anderson added 10 in the final match of their Central careers. Paxton Throne, another sophomore, recorded 45 set assists and 17 digs and classmate Lexi Holland had a team-leading 21 digs.
“We will really miss our sophomores,” Young said of the six-player class. “They are not only great athletes but tremendous young ladies.”
Central’s freshmen showed a bright future for the Raiders as Jacie Laetsch recorded her third double-double of the tournament with 13 kills and 13 digs. Lakeview graduate Jordee Korte had nine kills and Maddie Davis added 12 digs.
“This has been such a great year of adversity and many teams would have given up,” Young said. “I'm so proud of my team and it's been a great ride with them.”
Central, which finishes the season at 36-11, received the sportsmanship award for the tournament, something that backs up what Young already knew.
“We had great support from our parents and families in Charleston,” she said. “I've always thought we had the best fans and it was awesome to be awarded the sportsmanship award.”