Cougars Beat Lewis-Clark and Advance to Bracket Play
SIOUX CITY, IA - In the final day of play at the NAIA Volleyball National Championships, the fifth seeded Columbia College Cougars advanced out of their pool as the top seed after going 3-0 over the past three days. Columbia defeated eighth seeded Lewis-Clark State College Thursday afternoon by scores of 26-24, 26-28, 25-19 and 25-22 to improve to 38-3 on the season.
In their toughest test yet the Cougars stepped up and evenly spread out the attack, with four individuals finishing with double-figure kills. Neither team was able to put any real separation between their opponent throughout the match, with the Cougars biggest lead coming in the fourth set with a six-point victory.
Junior setter Paula Ferreira and senior outside hitter Vesna Trivunovic led the squad with 11 kills and nine digs a piece. Ferreira also dished out 44 assists. Kelly Corkum and Ola Shawky each chipped in 10 kills, hitting .500 and .400, respectively. Serena Jenkins and Aleah Hayes led the defensive effort with 13 digs each while Jenkins also posted nine kills and three aces.
"I thought all our hitters did a nice job," said head coach Melinda Wrye-Washington. "Our ball control failed us a bit so we weren't able to use (Kelly) Corkum as much as we wanted too, but we were able to make up for it in other ways."
Due to Biola University upsetting fourth seeded Embry-Riddle University, the Cougars get a bye into the quarterfinal round as one of the top four seeds. Columbia will take on the winner of Rocky Mountain College and College of Idaho at 5:45 p.m. on court two for a chance to compete in the semifinal round. All matches are single elimination with the winners advancing to the semifinals on Saturday morning.