The No. 3-seeded Cowley College volleyball team shook off the rust of not playing for 11 days by defeating 14th-seed Bismarck State College (ND) 25-17, 25-20, 23-25, 25-11 in the first round of the NJCAA Division II National Tournament played Thursday in Cedar Rapids, IA.
Cowley (39-3), winners of 10 matches in a row, advances to play again later today at 5:30 p.m. against sixth-seeded Scottsdale Community College (24-1).
Bismarck State (33-4) falls into the consolation side of the bracket.
After a back-and-forth opening set that featured eight ties, Cowley closed on a 14-6 run to win 25-17.
The Lady Tigers never trailed in the 25-20 win of set two and raced out to an 8-2 lead in set three before the Mystics rallied to grab the lead at 17-16 and never looked back in the 25-23 win.
Forced to play a fourth set for just the fifth time this season, Cowley regained its focus and led 10-3 following back-to-back aces by sophomore Rachele Tessari. The Lady Tigers’ strong serve helped them to the 25-11 win.
Tessari led Cowley with 16 kills, while Anna Kiss added 15 kills. Laci Beougher and Gyongyver Araczki also played well and finished with 11 and 10 kills, respectively.
The winner of tonight’s match will advance to Friday’s semifinal match to be played at 6:30 p.m.