West Plains, MO- The No. 5 Iowa Western Reivers earned their 13th consecutive berth to the National Junior College Volleyball Tournament on Saturday. The Reivers had to face the Lakers of Lakeland College in semi-finals of the District J Championship. Iowa Western took care of business, handling the game in straight sets and eliminating the Lakers from the tournament (25-15, 25-20 and 25-12).
The Reivers were led by Kortlyn Henderson, whose attack was a force at the net, scoring 12 kills and 4 blocks. Irina Alekseeva and Genesis Sheridan followed suit, adding 7 and 6 kills respectively. Defensively, the back court was handled by Ariana Macies and Savannah Downing picking up 22 digs combined. Hina Pua'a added 6 digs and 28 assists.
Later on Saturday, Iowa Western faced MSU- West Plains for the fourth time this season. However, this time the Reivers had a statement to make after dropping the last match against them just two weeks before. In a five set nail biter, Iowa Western won the District J Championship and the automatic bid to Nationals (25-12, 22-25, 23-25, 25-19 and 15-10).
The girls played lights out and gave everything they had. The Grizzlies had no answer for Genesis Sheridan who took charge, having a career-high 22 kills and a hitting clip of .700. Kortlyn Henderson and Alekseeva teamed up for 32 kills and 4 blocks. Setter, Hina Pua'a reached another career high with 66 assists while Ariana Macies refused to let any balls hit the floor, making 33 defensive plays. Morgan Bossler was a force at the net, with 12 kills and 7 blocks.
The Reivers will head to Hutchinson, KS next week to play the NJCAA National Tournament( November 15th- 17th). Seeding for the tournament will be released Wednesday, November 5th. For more information, check out the Championship website here: http://www.njcaavb1.com/landing/index