KINSTON, N.C. — The 25th-ranked Walters State volleyball team came up one win shy of its first ever trip to the NJCAA Division II National Championship Tournament Saturday afternoon, as the Lady Senators were swept by 15th-ranked in the NJCAA District O Tournament championship match on the Lenoir Community College campus.
The third-seeded Lady Senators fought hard against the top-seeded Lady Red Hawks but could not get on the board against the defending district champions. Catawba Valley claimed the win by the scores of 25-17, 25-18 and 25-12 to take home the district crown yet again.
With the win, Catawba Valley clinches a spot in the NJCAA Division II Volleyball Championship Tournament to be contested Nov. 15-17 at the Charleston Civic Center in Charleston, West Virginia. The Lady Red Hawks improved to 33-9 on the year after also defeating Pitt (18-6) in the semifinals Saturday morning.
The loss ended another highly successful season for the Lady Senators with a 22-9 record, as they advanced to the championship game for the first time after dropping Surry (20-5) in three sets in the second semifinal match.
In the opening match of the day for WSCC, the Lady Senators hammered Surry, winning by the scores of 25-16, 25-16 and 25-15 to move into the championship tilt.
Micayla Vallie swatted 9 kills and had 8 digs in the win, while Mckenzie Jenkins added 8 kills and a pair of blocks in the contest. Kaley Muncy contributed 6 kills, Courtney Dotson had 18 assists, Sydney Hurd added 10 assists and 10 digs for a double-double and Lexi Wakefield notched 8 digs in the win.
In what turned out to be the season finale, Jenkins led the team with 8 kills, while Muncy sand Vallie both added 5 kills with Vallie chipping in 8 digs as well. Dotson dished out 14 assists with Hurd adding 11 helpers, while Hayley Wolfe tallied 11 digs and Olivia Kent blocked a pair of attacks in the loss.
For their efforts, Vallie and Wolfe were named to the NJCAA District O All-Tournament Team. The match was the last outing for sophomores Jenkins, Wolfe, Muncy, Hurd, Vallie and Brooklyn Ireson.