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NOVA Volleyball Wins Championship

9 November 2014 No Comment

Photo courtesy of NOVA Athletics

Courtesy of NOVA Athletics

Northern Virginia Community College captured the 2014 National Junior College Athletic Association Region 20 Division II Championship with a thrilling 3-2 victory over Frederick (Md.) Community College Sunday afternoon at Hagerstown Community College.

In what could only be described as a tug of war featuring the two best teams in the region, Frederick and NOVA exchanged blows through the opening four sets. The Cougars won the first set 25-22, NOVA claimed the second 25-22, Frederick rallied back to take the third set 25-21, and NOVA hustled to win the fourth set 25-17 setting the stage for the fifth and final set.

Frederick jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the fifth, but NOVA stormed back to claim an 8-4 advantage when the teams exchanged sides midway through the set and NOVA held on for the decisive 15-7 victory that propels them to the NJCAA Division II National Championship Tournament in Phoenix, AZ November 20-22.

“Winning the regional championship is never easy and to beat a quality program like Frederick makes it that more special,” said head coach Marcus Robinson. “This team just had no quit this year. We have been in fifth set situations this season so we knew what to expect.”

NOVA defeated Potomac State (WV) College 3-0 in the semifinals on Saturday to advance to the championship game. Frederick ended its season with a 23-8 record. 2014 also marks the second consecutive season NOVA (23-8) had advanced to the regional championship game.

“We played a very competitive schedule with quality teams this season and we knew that we needed to bring the intensity level up a notch to earn the championship,” said Rachel Suttee, a sophomore from Jacksonville, N.C. “I feel blessed to be a part of this team. We persevered through obstacles like injuries and kept winning.”

Suttee, the NJCAA D-II leader in digs, once again paced NOVA with 55 digs. Sophomore Jesi Gallogly recorded 48 digs. Freshman Brigitte Weber had 20 kills with Gallogly contributing 13 kills. Olivia Franjie had 51 of NOVA’s 73 assists.

Sunday’s regional championship was the first time a NOVA team qualified for NJCAA National Tournament participation.

“Everybody played with heart and with a love of the sport and that is what helped us win this game,” said Franjie, a sophomore from Annandale. “For the sophomores, it’s great to end this part of the season on a high note and we look forward to competing in the national tournament.”

Franjie was named the Most Valuable Player of the NJCAA Region 20 Tournament. Suttee and Somya Leskanich were also named to the All-Tournament Team.

The NJCAA D-II Volleyball Tournament is hosted by Phoenix College.

By: NOVA College

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