Girls Non-conference Alexander Central: 57 Newton-Conover: 33 East Burke: 62 St. Stephens: 53 Fred T.…
Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute’s women’s volleyball team defeated Butler County Community College 3-2 in a five-set thriller on Saturday to win the National Junior College Athletic Association Division III Mid-Atlantic District Championship and advance to their first national tournament appearance in program history.
Caldwell, champions of Region 10, traveled to Butler, PA to face the host Pioneers in a winner-take-all, best-of-five match. Butler was the champions of Region 20.
Caldwell (21-5) dropped the first set 25-22, despite holding an early 9-5 advantage. The Cobras tied the set at 22, but Butler (18-6) scored the final three points to take the early 1-0 lead.
In the second set, Caldwell led 14-13 before finishing the set 11-4 to draw even with the Pioneers at one set apiece. The third set saw the Cobras build a 17-8 lead; however, Butler would battle back to tie the set at 20. Caldwell would win the next point to lead 21-20, but the Pioneers scored the last five points of the set to take a 2-1 advantage.
Set four saw Caldwell fall behind 7-1. Facing elimination, the Cobras would battle back, eventually tying the match at 16. The back-and-forth set would continue with Caldwell getting their first lead at 21-20. Butler tied the match at 21 before the Cobras closed on a 4-1 run to win the set and force a decisive fifth set.
Caldwell dominated set five, jumping out to a 3-0 lead. Butler would close the deficit to 4-2 but would not get any closer as the Cobras won the set 15-4.
Laney Craig led Caldwell’s offensive attack with 32 kills over the five sets. Emma Grace Hiatt had 24 assists to go along with Josie Chappell’s 20. Defensively, Emily Ramirez had 26 digs while Chappell finished with 12. Greenleigh Gleason added five solo blocks.
By winning the Mid-Atlantic District, Caldwell earned an automatic birth to the sixteen-team NJCAA Division III Volleyball National Championships to be held in Cedar Rapids, Iowa November 9-11. Twelve district champions earn automatic berths to the National Championships. Four other teams will receive at-large selections. Brackets will be released at 12PM EST on Tuesday, October 31.