Volleyball goes unbeaten in Jayhawk East for second straight year
Winning each of its regular season conference and non-conference matches for the first time in the history of the program, the No. 1-ranked Cowley College volleyball team capped a second straight unbeaten season in the Jayhawk Conference Eastern Division with a 25-21, 26-28, 25-11, 25-22 win at No. 12-ranked Johnson County on Wednesday.
The Lady Tigers have gone 20-0 in the conference over the past two seasons and are 50-2 in the Jayhawk East during their five-year run as conference champions. Cowley finished the regular season with a record of 33-0 overall and 10-0 in the Jayhawk East.
"To go undefeated in the regular season is a great accomplishment," Cowley head coach Jenifer Bahner said. "This team has done a great job of rising to the challenges in front of them."
On Wednesday, sophomore Sabetha Young led Cowley with 21 kills and 24 digs.
"It was another all around great game for her," Bahner said.
Fellow sophomore Martyna Gluchowicz added 18 kills, while Jessica McDougald chipped in with 12 kills and four blocks. The trio combined for 51 kills with only 13 hitting errors.
"We went to them a lot and they scored a bunch of points for us," Bahner said.
Freshmen Katelynn Slade and B.J. Specht also played well and contributed 54 assists and 26 digs, respectively. Freshman McKenzie Hartzog added 23 digs as Cowley finished with 110 digs in the match.
"It has been nice to see our defense make a difference in these games," Bahner said.
The loss dropped Johnson County into a tie for fourth place in the conference with Butler as both teams finished with conference records of 7-3. Coffeyville and Kansas City finished in a tie for second in the conference with records of 8-2.
The Lady Tigers will now prepare to host a challenging District M Tournament Saturday for the right to play at the national tournament in Toledo, OH.
Cowley will face Hesston College (19-13) at 10 a.m. and if they win, will then play the winner of No. 12-ranked Johnson County (26-5) vs. No. 15-ranked Butler (30-6) at around 3 p.m.
The four teams at the District M Tournament have a combined record of 108-24, while Cowley, Butler, and Johnson County have a combined record of 89-11.
"This will be the most competitive district tournament since I have been here," Bahner said. "We are excited to host the tournament and hope to use the home court to our advantage."