The Lorain County Community College Commodore Volleyball team finished second to top seed Madison College (Wis.) in the Division III National Junior College Athletic Association National Championship tournament, Saturday, Nov. 15 in Rochester, Minn.
This was the second consecutive national championship in Division III Volleyball for the Madison College Wolfpack. They defeated sixth seed LCCC in five sets, 3-2 (25-20, 27-29, 25-16, 19-25, 16-14). With its 2014 national title, Madison is now the sixth college to capture the volleyball national championship in the NJCAA Division III ranks in back-to-back seasons since the division was created in 1996.
“What a ride this team had. They battled the top three seeds in the tournament and left it all on the court while pushing the number one seed to overtime,” LCCC Volleyball Coach Ted Whitsel said. “No other team in NJCAA history has accomplished this but it still hurts being that close. They have set the bar mighty high for all future teams to follow and have placed LCCC on the national radar with this great season.”
LCCC Athletic Director Katie Marquard was equally impressed by the Commodores finish.
“We are extremely proud of our volleyball team,” Marquard said. “They not only finished higher than any other volleyball team in LCCC history by finishing second in the nation, they also represented LCCC with grace under pressure. They are a group of wonderful people.”
LCCC’s run to the national championship match was one that had never been accomplished in tournament history. The Commodores knocked off third-seeded Central Lakes (Minn.) 3-2 and then took down second-seeded Rochester (Minn.) in four sets. They are the first sixth seed to ever advance to the championship match.
A deciding fifth set was needed to finally settle the championship when Madison broke a 14-14 tie in its favor. The following match point saw an aggressive LCCC attack fall out of bounds to give Madison a 16-14 win and their second consecutive national championship.
LCCC finished its regular season with a 24-11 overall record and 10-4 in conference.
LCCC had three players on the All-Tournament team; Gabby Woods (sophomore opposite hitter from Sheffield Lake), Danya Corlew (freshman outside hitter from Elyria), and Kara Szabo (sophomore middle hitter from Elyria).