PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, Ohio – Owens Community College’s volleyball program is one step away from being crowned national champions after winning the NJCAA Region XII District E Women’s Championship. As a result of their postseason success, the Express women’s volleyball team will now advance to the NJCAA Division II Women’s Volleyball National Championship Tournament, Thursday-Saturday, Nov. 15-17. Owens is serving as the host site for the national tournament.
This marks Owens’ third trip to the NJCAA Division II National championship tournament. Additionally, the Express participated in five Division III national championship tournaments and finished third in 1998, 1999 and 2000.
The Express earned their trip to nationals by winning the regional title at Grand Rapids Community College in Grand Rapids, Mich. Owens defeated Columbus State Community College (25-13, 20-25, 18-25, 25-22, 15-10) in the championship match to advance to the national tournament.
Led by Express Head Coach Sonny Lewis, the volleyball program’s overall record now stands at 35-9. In late October, the Express women’s volleyball team captured the outright Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) regular season championship with a victory over Columbus State. Owens has won 12 out of the last 13 OCCAC regular season championships. Lewis’ squad finished 12-0 in the OCCAC regular season standings and is ranked No. 17 in the latest NJCAA Division II national volleyball regular season poll.
This marks the second consecutive year that Owens will host the national championship tournament. The College has hosted the national championship tournament on eight previous occasions. In addition to last year, Owens served as the host site for the NJCAA Division II Women’s Volleyball National Championship Tournament from 2001-04 and the NJCAA Division III Women’s Volleyball National Championship Tournament from 1998-2000.
The top 16 NJCAA Division II teams from across the country will compete in the double elimination consolation tournament. All matches will occur in the College’s Student Health and Activities Center on the Toledo-area Campus. Owens is located on Oregon Road in Perrysburg Township.
Tournament competition in the 16-team event begins on Thursday, Nov. 15, with first round matches taking place at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. The second round will begin at 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Thursday. On Friday, Nov. 16, the national volleyball tournament continues with losers’ bracket and national semifinal matches at 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
The tournament will conclude on Saturday, Nov. 17, with consolation bracket matches at 12 p.m. followed by the fifth place match at 2:30 p.m., the third place match at 4:30 p.m. and national championship match at 6:30 p.m.
Owens will play Kirkwood Community College in their first match of the national tournament at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 15. If they would advance, the Express will play the winner of the Iowa Central Community College/Monroe College match at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday.
The list of 16 teams competing in the tournament are Cowley County Community College, Arkansas City, Kan. (35-0); Grand Rapids Community College, Grand Rapids, Mich. (35-1); Parkland College, Champaign, Ill. (42-7); Iowa Central Community College, Fort Dodge, Iowa (34-10); Kirkwood Community College, Cedar Rapids, Iowa (37-8); Moraine Valley Community College, Palos Hills, Ill. (35-0); Phoenix College, Phoenix, Ariz. (19-10); Lincoln Land Community College, Springfield, Ill. (31-7); Kansas City Community College, Kansas City, Kan. (30-6); Kishwaukee Community College, Malta, Ill. (30-13); Central Community College, Columbus, Neb. (30-10); Owens Community College, Toledo, Ohio (35-9); Monroe College, New Rochelle, N.Y. (35-5); Catawba Valley Community College, Hickory, N.C. (34-0); Hagerstown Community College, Hagerstown, Md. (24-3), and Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, Miami, Okla. (17-7).
Express volleyball team members include Molly Hilfinger of Whitehouse, setter (Anthony Wayne H.S.); Alyssa Meis of Curtice, outside hitter (Genoa H.S.); Brandi Schimming of Martin, defensive specialist (Genoa H.S.); Kennedy Geyman of Monroe, Mich., defensive specialist/outside hitter (Jefferson H.S.); Tiffani Hobbs of Toledo, rightside hitter (Toledo Central Catholic H.S.); Kenzie Kleinhenz of St. Henry, rightside hitter (St. Henry H.S.); Dakia Sellers of Mansfield, outside hitter/middle blocker (Madison H.S.); Jazmine Thomas of Lima, middle blocker (Lima Senior H.S.); Lisa Urbanski of Toledo, defensive specialist (Notre Dame Academy); Bailey Windham of Monroe, Mich., setter (St. Mary Catholic Central H.S.), and Dominique Yates of Toledo, middle blocker/outside hitter (Bowsher H.S.).
Tickets for the NJCAA Division II Women’s Volleyball National Tournament are $15 (day tournament pass) and $35 (three-day tournament pass). Children under 12 are $5 per day. For more information, call (567) 661-7973 or 1-800-GO-OWENS, Ext. 7973.
Owens Community College is an accredited two-year, state-assisted institution of higher education that has served Northwest Ohio since 1965. With a commitment to providing small classes, personal attention and unmatched affordability, the College serves the diverse academic needs of credit and non-credit students on the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses, as well as at the Arrowhead Park Learning Center in Maumee and the Learning Center at The Source in downtown Toledo. Owens offers associate degrees that transfer to baccalaureate degrees in the Arts and Sciences and over 130 technical program areas in Agriculture, Business, Health Sciences, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Skilled Trades, and Engineering and Transportation Technologies. Owens students also can earn the first two years of a bachelor’s degree with a smooth transfer to any area four-year college or university. For more information, visit www.owens.edu.