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CCC Volleyball Wins Three-Peat at Nationals

OMAHA, NE—Clearwater Christian College captured the 2008 NCCAA II National Volleyball Championship this past weekend. They attended their national tournament held in Omaha, Nebraska on November 13-15 and brought home another national championship banner. This is the eighth national title in the past 14 years for the Lady Cougars Volleyball Team.

The National Christian College Athletic Association provides regional and national competitions in 24 different sports for over 13,000 student athletes. With its national office in Greenville, South Carolina, it is a Christian-based group of approximately 120 colleges and universities. The theme of the NCCAA is, “Intercollegiate sports with a Christian perspective.”

The Cougars were among ten teams across the United States and Canada who qualified for the NCCAA National Tournament, eight regional winners and two at-large bids. Teams represented included Clearwater Christian and Southeastern University from Florida, Philadelphia Biblical University from Pennsylvania, Southwest College from Arizona, Manhattan College from Kansas, Ozark Christian College from Missouri, Kentucky Christian College, Lincoln Christian College from Illinois, Providence College from Canada, and the host school, Grace University.

During the three-day event, Clearwater went undefeated in pool play, winning matches against Ozark Christian, Grace University, Providence College, and Philadelphia Biblical University. On Saturday in the semi-final match, the Lady Cougars defeated Manhattan Christian College 25-18; 25-14; 25-20, placing them into the championship match against Lincoln Christian College.

In an exciting championship match, Clearwater came out with a close win in game one 25-23. During game two, Lincoln played tremendous offense with some big kills and took the game 25-20. The team from Illinois continued their offensive dominance during game three and again won the set, 25-17. After a change in the Cougar lineup, Erin Madray came in the front line to help shut down the powerful hitters of Lincoln. The move paid off, and CCC took game four 25-14. The fifth set went back and forth with the lead changing hands several times. After a 10-10 tie, the Clearwater team made some great back row defensive plays led by Emma Kile, Chrissie Sugimoto and Ginette Cerrud. Offensively, Alyssa Hallice came up with some big kills in the middle, and Ashley Lawson put down the last point to win the match 15-11.

Clearwater’s overall record this season was 43-5, setting a new team record for most wins in a season. The Lady Cougars went undefeated against NCCAA II colleges and also had several big wins over NCCAA I, NAIA, NJCAA, and NCAA II & III colleges.

Several CCC players were honored during the National Tournament including First Team All-Americans Alyssa Hallice, Emma Kile, and Evelyn Compton. Christine Sugimoto was named National Libero of the Year. Scholar Athletes included Chrissie Sugimoto, Ginette Cerrud, Rachel Farrell, and Summer Jelsma, and All Tournament honors went to Evelyn Compton, Alyssa Hallice, and Emma Kile. Coach Vickie Denny was also named the NCCAA II Coach of the Year.