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Volleyball ends flight in regional finals

Injury riddled Eagles fall in hard fought regional final

By Erich Pitcher
On November 30, 2017

The injury bug is a vicious animal in the sports world. It strikes without warning or remorse at the most inopportune time. The Kirkwood Community College volleyball team knows this bite all too well.

The Eagles fell to Northeast Community College in the regional finals on Nov. 4 in a thrilling 3-2 match. The Eagles were missing two key players - Ady Wintermote, team kills leader, was missing her second game with a sprained ankle and Brianna Eberhardt, team digs leader, was out due to a concussion. 

Despite missing these key contributors the Eagles battled to the regional finals against Northeast, a team they defeated 3-1 in the final regular season match. Kirkwood lost the first match 25-11. The injury-hinderd Eagles showed grit and won the second set 25-19. Northeast captured a hard fought third match 25-22. Kirkwood forced a deciding fifth match with a dominant 25-16 win in match four. However, the happy ending was not meant to be for the Eagles. Northeast won the deciding fifth match 15-7.

The loss marked the end of the Eagles season. They finished with a 25-17 record, they were also undefeated in conference play with a 17-0 mark. The loss also ended the Eagles quest for a three-peat of national tournament appearances. They appeared in the tournament in 2015 and 2016, finishing seventh place nationally on both occasions. 

Despite the season falling short of expectations, the Eagles have been bringing home the postseason awards. Coach Jill Williams won coach of the year for her efforts in guiding the Eagles to an undefeated season in conference play. 

Wintermote claimed Freshman of the Year honors, first team all-region and was named to the all-conference first team. 

Sophomore Margaret Micka was also named to the all-conference and all-region first teams. Micka was second on the team in digs and kills. She also had a hitting percentage of .156 and 3.29 digs per set. Her 1,549 total attacks were second in the NJCAA. 

The All-Region Second team continued the postseason accolades. Sophomore McKenzie Petersen and Freshman Abbi Tunis were named to the second team. Petersen led the Eagles with 192 blocks and Tunis was second in blocks. 

Freshman Lauren Kenne and Eberhardt both earned all-conference honorable mention.

 

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