The Cowley College volleyball team came really close to winning a national championship last year, falling to Illinois Central College in the NJCAA Division II national title match. The Tigers are picked No. 1 this year, ahead of ICC, in the preseason poll. And to win it all, you need a big-time outside hitter, which Cowley has in national player of the year candidate and reigning Jayhawk East MVP Roslandy Acosta. Johnson County was the other Jayhawk team in the D2 poll at No. 4. Here’s the press release from Cowley:
Cowley volleyball ranked No. 1 in national poll
Returning seven players from last season’s national runner- up squad, the Cowley College volleyball team was recently picked No. 1 in the NJCAA Division II national pre-season poll.
The Lady Tigers were picked ahead of second-ranked Illinois Central College, the team that Cowley faced in last year’s national title match.
“This is a great honor for our program and the Cowley athletic department as a whole,” Cowley head coach Jenifer Bahner said. “The volleyball program’s success from past years is obviously a big contributor of this, along with the new kids we have brought in.”
Sophomore right side hitter/setter, Roslandy Acosta, highlights the list of returning players as she was named a First-Team All-American, the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference Eastern Division Most Valuable Player, Jayhawk East Freshman of the Year, and was a First-Team All-Region selection.
Other returners are, Elena Berroteran (defensive specialist/outside hitter), Lindsey Chandler (middle/outside hitter), Sarah Skinner (middle/right side hitter), Kaitlin Stearns (defensive specialist), Kelsey Patterson (outside hitter), and Meagan Cahill (middle hitter).
Cowley finished last season with a record of 32-5 and had the highest winning percentage (86.5%) in the program’s history. Bahner, who guided the Lady Tigers to conference and region titles, a 19-match win streak, and the runner-up national finish in her first season as head coach, knows her team will be challenged throughout the season.
“We know teams are going to want to beat us and we will get our opponents best effort each game,” Bahner said. “I am proud of the recognition but we just need to focus on what we need to do as a team in order to be successful.”