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Thursday, February 27, 2020
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor
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KCC volleyball makes national semifinals

CHARLESTON, W. Va. - The Kirkwood women's volleyball team won both of its matches at the NJCAA Division II national tournament Thursday and will be playing in the semifinals Friday night.

Kirkwood (34-8) will face top-seeded Coffeyville (38-3) Friday at 5:30 p.m. for the right to play for the national title on Saturday.

The Eagles, seeded No. 5 in the tournament, rolled by Carl Sandburg, 25-14, 25-18, 25-13, in their first match Thursday at the Charleston Civic Center in West Virginia.

Kirkwood then knocked off No. 4 South Mountain in a five-set thriller, 21-25, 25-21, 25-20, 16-25, 15-13, in the quarterfinals with a clutch performance in the fifth and final set.

Alexa Aldrich-Ingram collected 18 kills and five blocks in the 3-0 victory over Carl Sandburg. Haleigh Durnin had 11 kills, Sami Johnson six, Taylor Carey six, Abbi Tunis five and Lauren Keane three.

Keane had 37 assists and eight digs against Carl Sandburg. Carey blocked seven shots. Chloe McNeese had two aces.

Kirkwood had to rally against South Mountain after dropping the first set. The Eagles took the second and third sets for a 2-1 lead, but South Mountain dominated the fourth set 25-16 and had all the momentum heading into the final set.

Kirkwood dug a little deeper and claimed the fifth set, 15-13, and now the Eagles are assured of finishing no lower than fourth in the national tournament.

Aldrich-Ingram executed 24 kills against South Mountain in the quarterfinals. Durnin had 12 kills, Tunis 11, Johnson five and Carey five.

Keane rolled up a whopping 53 assists. Ingram and Maddie Lavenz served two aces. Lavenz had 17 digs. Tunis blocked five shots and Carey swatted four away.

Parkland and Johnson County will meet in the other semifinal Friday. Parkland is seeded No. 2 and Johnson County is seeded No. 3.

The third-place match is scheduled for Saturday at 2 p.m., with the championship match scheduled for Saturday at 4:30.

 
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