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THE COUNTDOWN - #3
#3 Volleyball team wins Regional Championship
Winning a Regional Championship is what each of our teams sets as a goal to start the year, because if you win the Regional Championship you advance to the National Tournament. To win your Regional Championship in dramatic fashion by going through the loser’s bracket to defeat your major rival in back-to-back matches, and reach a coaching milestone makes it even more special. That is what the women’s volleyball team did en route to winning the NCCAA Central Region Championship to advance to the NCCAA National Tournament for the first time since 2009.
MCC entered the five team double-elimination tournament as the top seed, in their opening match they disposed of Central Bible College in three sets. This set up their first match against Grace University, the #2 seed in the tournament. These two teams had split their regular season match-ups, so both teams knew they were capable of beating the other. It was a hard fought match but defensive errors caused MCC to struggle and they dropped the match in four sets. This loss put MCC in the loser's bracket going into Saturday.
To get to the Championship match, MCC first had to go through Central Christian College of the Bible, the #3 seed. The Lady Crusaders came out strong and took the match easily in three sets. This win put MCC in the championship match against Grace University. MCC was ready for a battle after losing to Grace the night before. The match went back and forth, MCC taking the first and third set, and Grace taking the second and fourth, forcing the match to a fifth and final set. MCC came out swinging hard and took the final set, 15-13 to force a second championship match, this match was also Coach Lauren Sanders 200th career victory in her eight seasons at MCC. In the second championship match MCC had all the momentum and stormed by Grace winning in three sets to advance to the National Tournament. Kylie Rupe (SO, Manhattan, KS) was named the MVP of the Region, Alyssa Strain (JR, Kansas City, KS) and Paige Mortensen (SO, Oklahoma City, OK) were named 1st Team All-Region and Kayla Hawkins (SR, Lincoln, NE) was named 2nd Team All-Region. Coach Sanders was named Regional Coach of the Year. This was only the fourth time in school history that the volleyball team had captured the Region Championship.
With a strong nucleus of players returning we look forward to seeing Coach Sanders and the team attempt to bring home another Region Championship.