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Clearwater Volleyball Captures Sixth Consecutive NCCAA II National Championship
Clearwater Christian College participated in the 2011 NCCAA II National Volleyball Championship this past weekend at the Kissimmee Civic Center. The team captured another national championship banner for the sixth straight season marking their 11th national title since 1995.
During the three-day event, Clearwater went undefeated in pool play without dropping a set, winning matches against West Coast Baptist College, Ozark Christian College, Providence College and Grace University. On Saturday in the semi-final match, the Lady Cougars defeated Lincoln Christian University in three straight sets, placing them into the championship match against Ozark Christian College. Although the Cougars had already beaten OCC in pool play, Ozark came back to upset the #2 seed, Maranatha Baptist Bible College in three straight sets to secure a spot in the championship game. This was a rematch of last year’s final between the same two squads.
The Cougars defeated Ozark in three straight sets to win the 2011 National Championship Title. Clearwater was led by Emma Kile playing her last match in a Cougar uniform as she led all hitters with 19 kills and put down the game winning point in set three. The Bucklin sisters made a big impact on the match as well with Amanda scoring 12 kills and Richelle putting down 10 during the championship match. According to Coach Denny, "The fact that we had a balanced attack helped us during the entire tournament. Every team was keying in on Kile so it was great to see the Bucklin crew step up and take charge. I also thought our serve/serve receive was solid during the tournament with Ison, Ponce, and Medich being our three primary passers. We were able to run a lot of different plays on offense because of good passing and digging from these three players."
Clearwater’s overall record this season was 42-7 with a .857 win percentage. The Lady Cougars went undefeated against NCCAA II colleges and also had several big wins over NCCAA I, NAIA, NJCAA, and NCAA III programs. Other highlights of the year were winning their own Labor Day tournament and beating Webber International University (NAIA) twice.
According to Coach Denny, “We are very thankful for the great year that the Lord gave us. After graduating three starters from last year’s championship squad, we had some spots to fill. The sophomore class really stepped up big for us and made solid contributions. The amount of improvement seen on this year’s squad from the start of our season to now was tremendous and I am excited to see what the Lord has for us next year with so many of these players returning.”
Tournament Honors include:
NCCAA Scholar Athlete:
Emma Kile, Jessica Pisani, Amanda Ison, Richelle Bucklin
NCCAA II Second Team All-American:
NCCAA II First Team All-American:
Richelle Bucklin, Emma Kile
AVCA ALL American Team:
Richelle Bucklin, Sarah Wild, Emma Kile
NCCAA Player of the Year:
NCCAA National All Tournament Team:
Richelle Bucklin, Emma Kile
MVP of the National Tournament:
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