WEST PLAINS, MO. ? Wallace State Community College?s record-setting volleyball team had its season come to a close Friday night at the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division I national volleyball championships at West Plains Civic Center in West Plains, Mo.
No. 13 seed Wallace State finished 1-2 in the tournament, defeating Temple College out of Texas on Friday for its first win in nationals under fourth-year head coach Randy Daniel. Later in the afternoon, the Lady Lions? season concluded with a four-set loss to No. 9 Midland (Texas) College.
Western Nebraska handed Wallace State its first loss of the tournament in Thursday?s opening round. Western Nebraska is playing San Jacinto (Texas) College for the NJCAA volleyball championship on Saturday night.
Wallace State (53-3) used a 25-13, 16-25, 25-19, 25-23 final to clinch its victory over 12th-seeded Temple College.
?We seemed more relaxed and got back to what helped us set a school record for wins. I was happy to see the Wallace State team I was used to this year,? said Daniel, who is now 153-28 during his four years with the program. ?The most important thing is this win shows we deserve to be playing at a national tournament and one we can build on. We want to be here year after year and improve on this stage.?
The sophomore trio of Kierra Outlin, Skylar Key and Jessica Wilburn paced Wallace State in its triumph in Missouri. Outlin finished with 10 kills, eight digs and a block vs. the Lady Leopards, Key had 14 kills and four blocks and Wilburn added 13 digs.
Taulise Dunklin finished with 12 kills, five digs and three blocks for Wallace State?s attack, Lesley Bemis had eight kills and two blocks, Amelia Moore contributed six kills, Stephanie Andrews had 21 assists and Caelin Light added 11.
In Wallace State?s final match, the Lady Lions were on the verge of pushing it to a deciding fifth game, but Midland scored the final three points of the fourth set to cap a win for the Lady Chaparrals.
Wallace State?s match vs. Midland ended 13-25, 25-20, 20-25, 26-28.
Outlin had 12 kills and 10 digs in her final match in a Wallace State uniform, Moore had 11 kills and six digs, Key had nine kills and four blocks, Bemis contributed eight kills and three blocks, Wilburn finished with 11 digs and Andrews and Light combined for 35 assists.
?I?m proud of our girls. We played and competed hard. That?s all you can ask for,? Daniel said. ?Our girls have a lot to be proud of in terms of team accomplishments. We look forward to working hard in order to come back here next year.?
Wallace State had another brilliant season under Daniel, setting single-season school records in wins, kills, blocks, digs and assists. Individually, Wilburn broke the school record for digs in a season and career, while Outlin and Key each finished in the top five in career kills and blocks.
The Lady Lions won their second consecutive Alabama Community College Conference (ACCC) tournament championship and third straight regular-season championship, remaining undefeated against conference foes for the third year in a row.
Outlin of John Carroll High School, Key of Curry and Wilburn of Gaston were the only sophomores on this year?s roster.
For more information about Wallace State athletics, visit wallacestate.edu.
Wallace State Community College
P.O. Box 2000, Hanceville, AL 35077
1-866-350-9722 Direct line: 256-352-8443
Visit us online at www.wallacestate.edu