Cougars Advance to Championship, Henley Sets Record for WWU
COLUMBIA -- Amanda Henley left her name at the top of the William Woods University volleyball record book on Thursday night as she tallied her 2,207th career dig, but the Owls couldn't earn the upset, falling to no. 1 seeded Columbia College 3-0 in the match.
The Owls jumped out early in the first set, taking a 5-2 lead early. Among the highlights of WWU's early run was a solo block from Sarah Wehmeyer, as the senior turned the attack from Kahoriz Feliz back into the center of the court for a 9-5 Owl lead.
Columbia was eventually able to battle back and take a 13-12 lead, but WWU got a bit of a break to tie the game up at 13-13. On a joust at the net, the ball hung teasingly on the tape before falling back onto the Cougar side, where they were whistled for a double touch.
The Owls were able to stretch back out to a 16-13 lead courtesy of three straight Columbia errors, but couldn't hang on for the set win.
The historic dig came early in the second set, as Henley was able to corral a cross-court shot from the Cougars, to keep play alive.
William Woods dropped the second set 13-25, however, and despite trying to mount an early comeback in the third set, three straight aces from Columbia College proved too much for the Owls to handle as they fell 11-25 in the final.
With the loss, William Woods finishes the year 21-19.
Junior Kahoriz Feliz led the Columbia attack with 13 kills. Kelly Corkum and AMC Player of the Week Brooke Simpson had seven kills apiece on the night as well. Setter Paula Ferreira led all players with 26 assists and Elena Berroteran contributed a match-high 20 digs. Aleah Hayes added 18 assists and six digs.
Saturday's championship match against Park is slated for a noon start at the Arena of Southwell Complex. With a win, the Cougars would clinch their 23rd Conference Tournament title and earn an automatic bid to the NAIA National Tournament.