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C of O Remains Alive for NCCAA National Volleyball Championship

Kamryn Link and Brooklyn Crawford (left to right) go up for a block. (Photo Courtesy C of O Sports Information)

The College of the Ozarks Lady Bobcats are hosting the NCCAA Division One National Volleyball Championships, and after two days of play, are still alive to claim the national title.

The Lady Bobcats will play Grace in the semifinals this evening at 6:00. 

Complete details on the tournament below from College of the Ozarks Sports Information:
After an NAIA National Tournament appearance, the College of the Ozarks Lady Cat Volleyball team returned home to host the NCCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball National Championship Tournament. With pool play taking place Wednesday and Thursday, the Lady Cats were set to take on Clinton College from Rock Hill, South Caroline and Oakland City University from Oakland City, Indiana on day one.

C of O vs Clinton College – Wednesday, November 29
The 1:30 pm matchup pitted the Lady Cats against the Golden Bears of Clinton College. 

The Lady Cats jumped out in front early with a Brooklyn Crawford kill and an Anna Howe ace. A 5-0 run had the Lady Cats feeling good about the start. Abby Chadwell slammed home a pair of kills and Jocee Pettyjohn delivered a service ace and the lead grew to 10-2. The Golden Bears took a timeout to try and slow the Lady Cat momentum. The strategy was ineffective as Abby Chadwell pounded another kill out of the huddle and Kamryn Link tacked on another for a 12-2 lead. The Golden Bears were unable to solve the Lady Cat attack and the gap continued to grow. Emma Godwin added a service ace and Christa Duffel added a kill and the Lady Cat attack continued. Trailing 20-3, Clinton College took their final timeout. A Hancock, Duffel block for a point was followed by a pair Duffel kills and a trio of Clinton errors. Grace Hancock closed out the set with a kill and the Lady Cats took the opener, 25-3.

Clinton turned the tables in the early going of set two and took a quick 3-0 lead. A Bri Linehan kill put the Lady Cats on the board and it was time to swing the momentum. The task would not be as easy as the opening set and the Lady Cats had work to do. After chipping away at the lead to tie the score at 7-7, the Lady Cats took their first lead with a Grace Hancock kill. The teams began trading points and neither could gain a sizable advantage. Leading 10-9, a pair of Clinton errors and a Bri Linehan kill sent the momentum to the side of the home team. Another two Lady Cat points forced a Golden Bear timeout, and the Lady Cats were seemingly in control. The Golden Bears tried to keep up, but the Lady Cat attack was too much. A Mica Chadwell ace was followed by a trio of Clinton errors and the Lady Cats took set two 25-14.

The Lady Cats continued their attack to open set three. Kills by Bri Linehan and Brooklyn Crawford built a 5-0 lead, and the Lady Cats had the early momentum. The Golden Bears continued to scrap but the Lady Cats used kills by Sophie Morris and Christa Duffel to open a 10-3 advantage. Another three unanswered Lady Cat points forced a Golden Bear timeout as they trailed 13-3. The Lady Cats continued to apply pressure and the Golden Bears could not find an answer. Point by point the Lady Cats inched closer to the 25-point total. Another Anna Howe ace was followed by kills by Brooklyn Crawford and Sophie Morris to secure the 25-7 set win and the 3-0 sweep.

Bri Linehan led the offensive attack with 10 kills while Grace Hancock, Brooklyn Crawford, and Abby Chadwell each recorded seven kills. Kamryn Link set up 32 assists and Mica Chadwell contributed 19 digs.

C of O vs Wayland Baptist University – Wednesday, November 29
The next opponent in pool play for the Lady Cats was the Pioneers of Wayland Baptist University. The Pioneers are members of the Sooner Athletic Conference, where the Bobcats and Lady Cats will begin participation next year. Wayland defeated fourth seeded Oakland City University earlier in the day. 

Wayland Baptist jumped on the board with the first two points, but the Lady Cats quickly answered, and the battle was on. Wayland grabbed the early momentum with four unanswered points and the Lady Cats found themselves in a 6-1 hole. With the aide of a series of Pioneer errors and an Abby Chadwell kill however, the Lady Cats began to chip away at the lead. A Brooklyn Crawford kill cut the gap to 10-9 and the Lady Cats were back in contention. The teams traded points and another Crawford kill was followed by a service ace by Kamryn Link, and the Lady Cats had their first lead. Trading points became the norm and kills by Bri Linehan and Abby Chadwell helped maintain the slim Lady Cat advantage. A Kamryn Link kill and an Emma Godwin ace inched the Lady Cats closer to the goal of 25 points, but the Pioneers were not letting up. A ball slammed home by Brooklyn Crawford bumped the score to 20-17 and WBU took a timeout to regroup. Crawford greeted the Pioneers with another kill out of the huddle, but they were determined to respond. A Kamryn Link block for a point boosted the score to 24-20 and after a point by the Pioneers, an error finished the set and gave the Lady Cats the 25-21 win. 

The Lady Cats jumped out to the early lead in set two, but Wayland Baptist quickly responded. A pair of Pioneer errors bumped the score to 5-1 and Wayland Baptist took a quick timeout to regroup. WBU scored out of the huddle but a block by Brooklyn Crawford landed on the Pioneer side of the net to help the Lady Cats maintain their advantage. Abby Chadwell joined the hit parade, and her kill made the score 8-4. A Duffel, Hancock block, an Emma Godwin ace, and a Grace Hancock kill fueled a 5-0 run to expand the gap to 13-4. The Lady Cats continued to apply pressure and WBU struggled to respond. Another Crawford kill bumped the score to 18-9 and the Lady Cats were in control. A Kamryn Link kill, a Crawford black for a point, and a Bri Linehan kill moved the score to 21-11 and the Lady Cats were feeling another set win. Linehan logged another kill, Abby Chadwell slammed one home, and a Pioneer error delivered set point. Kamryn Link slammed down the final point and the Lady Cats took set two, 25-12.

Set three looked to be a battle from the opening serve. The teams traded points to a 4-4 tie, but WBU seemed to have the slight advantage. WBU took the first two-point lead, 7-5 and the Lady Cats answered with a Kamryn Link kill. The Lady Cats were unable to get the upper hand until a Crawford kill put them up 9-8. The lead was short-lived however, and the Pioneers soon regained the advantage. Another pair of Crawford kills gave the Lady Cats their first two-point lead and WBU took their first timeout trailing 12-10. Neither team was willing to concede, and the tug of war intensified as the points were added to the board. Points were traded to a 14-14 tie before A Christa Duffel kill broke the deadlock. Point by point, the two teams continued to match each other. A kill by Kamryn Link bumped the score to 18-16 and the Pioneers took their final timeout. The timeout was effective, and the score was soon tied at 18-18. WBU regained the lead on the next point and C of O took their first timeout. Another WBU point followed the timeout and the Lady Cats needed to respond. A Crawford kill was the answer, but the Pioneers continued to apply pressure and add to their lead. A Bri Linehan kill cut the gap to 23-21 and a Pioneer error closed the gap by another point. A kill by the Pioneers brought up set point, but an errant serve was followed by a Christa Duffel block and the score was tied 24-24. The teams traded points with the Pioneers consistently breaking the tie until they were able to add the needed point to take the set 27-25.

Set four picked up where the previous set left off and the two teams traded points in the early going. Kills by Bri Linehan and Christa Duffel kept the Lady Cats on top, but the Pioneers were not letting up. Neither team could produce a gap and points continued to go back and forth. The Lady Cats earned the first two-point advantage and fought to add to it, but WBU had other plans. The Lady Cats were unable to pull away and the best they could do was maintain their slim lead. A Christa Duffel kill bumped the score to 16-13 and WBU took a timeout. The strategy was successful again and the score was soon tied 16-16. Brooklyn Crawford and Christa Duffel each slammed a kill home to boost the score to 20-18 and the tension continued to build. With just five points between the Lady Cats and a four-set win, the Pioneers were turning up the pressure. A Crawford Kill made the score 21-19, but WBU quickly responded. Another Pioneer point tied the score, and a pair of Lady Cat errors gave the Pioneers a 23-21 advantage. The Lady Cats took a timeout to regroup and two straight points out of the huddle gave them some life. WBU scored the next point however and took set four 25-23.

After splitting the first four sets, it was now a race to 15 points. As expected, points went back and forth in the early going, but it was WBU that held the advantage. Kills by Brooklyn Crawford and Christa Duffel pulled the Lady Cats even and another Duffel kill put them on top with their first lead. Neither team would budge, and it appeared the final set would go down to the wire. Tied 10-10, five points stood between the Lady Cats and the win. It would take a two-point advantage for the win and the Lady Cats were unable to build a lead. Tied 12-12, the Pioneers scored the next two points to lead 14-12. The Lady Cats took the next point and a Christa Duffel kill tied it 14-14. WBU took a timeout to try to break the newfound momentum and time would tell if the strategy was effective. The next point went to the Pioneers and Coach Muckenthaler took her final timeout. WBU scored the next point, and they took the set 16-14, and the match 3-2.

Brooklyn Crawford led the offense with 19 kills, while Christa Duffel added 12, and Bri Linehan tacked on 11. Kamryn Link contributed 48 assists and Mica Chadwell, Jocee Pettyjohn, and Kamryn Link recorded 33, 14, and 13 digs respectively.

C of O vs Oakland City University – Thursday, November 30
In a must win match for both teams, the Lady Cats squared off against the Mighty Oaks of Oakland City University, from Oakland City, Indiana. The winner of this match would move on to the semifinals as the number four seed. The loser of the match would have their season come to a close. 

In what was sure to be a battle from the opening serve, the teams traded points in the early going. Point for point, each team answered the other’s challenges. The Mighty Oaks seemed to have the upper hand as they broke each tie in the early part of set one. Oakland City built the first two-point lead, 9-7, and the Lady Cats needed to respond. Four more Oakland City points followed, and the Lady Cats took a timeout, trailing 13-7. Another OCU point landed on the board out of the huddle before an errant serve broke the string. The Lady Cats struggled to find an answer and OCU continued to apply pressure. A Christa Duffel kill cut the gap to 16-10 and gave the Lady Cats a boost. The momentum was short-lived however as the Mighty Oaks continued to land shots on the Lady Cat side of the net. Trailing 19-10, the Lady Cats took their final timeout to try and regroup. Another Duffel kill out of the huddle was one of many points needed by the Lady Cats. OCU continued their attack and the Lady Cats struggled to string points together. A Brooklyn Crawford block for a point made the score 22-13 and the Lady Cats were in a deep hole. Unable to recover, the Mighty Oaks took set one, 25-15.

The Mighty Oaks picked up where they left off in set one and built a quick 5-1 lead. The Lady Cats began to slowly chip away, but a major swing in momentum was drastically needed. One point at a time was all they could seem to muster and OCU continued to attack. Trailing 9-3, Coach Muckenthaler took a timeout to try and ignite her team. Abby Chadwell scored a kill out of the huddle and a Mighty Oak error followed for the first back-to back points for the Lady Cats. The streak was quickly squelched, and the Oaks went back to work. A Brooklyn Crawford block for a point cut the gap to 13-8, but the Lady Cats needed a solid run. A couple of OCU errors and a Bri Linehan kill cut the gap to 15-11 and the Lady Cats were slowly clawing their way back. Oakland City continued to answer the challenges and the Lady Cats continued to battle. Trailing 19-13, the Lady Cats took a timeout to prepare for a push to the finish. Points went back and forth but the Lady Cats seemed to be stuck in a six-point hole. A pair of Grace Hancock kills gave the Lady Cats some life, but OCU was too much, and the set went to the visitors, 25-17.

Set three started in similar fashion as the previous two. The teams traded points early, but OCU held the slim advantage. A Christa Duffel kill cut the gap to 7-6 and a Grace Hancock block tied it, 7-7. OCU quickly responded and the tug of war continued. The Lady Cats tied it 10-10 on a Kamryn Link ace, and a Mighty Oak error was followed by a Brooklyn Crawford block for a point. The Lady Cats had their first lead of the set, 12-10 and OCU took their first timeout of the match. A Bri Linehan kill greeted the Mighty Oaks out of the huddle and Brooklyn Crawford slammed one home and to finally give the Lady Cats some momentum. Another Linehan kill bumped the score to 16-10 and OCU needed another timeout. Trading points began again, but this time, it was the Lady Cats who held the advantage. Kills by Linehan and Link moved the score to 20-14 and the Lady Cats were looking to close out the set. An Abby Chadwell kill and a pair of OCU errors brought up set point and a Kamryn Link kill sealed the set win, 25-16.

With their backs to the wall the rest of the way, the Lady Cats were looking to keep the momentum rolling into set four. A Mighty Oak error and a Linehan, Crawford block did exactly that and gave the Lady Cats the early lead. OCU quickly bounced back, and the battle was on. An Abby Chadwell kill and a Linehan block for a point kept the Lady Cats close but the Mighty Oaks held a slight advantage. A Christa Duffel kill was slammed to the floor on the OCU side and Abby Chadwell followed suit to give the Lady Cats a 9-7 lead. It was up to the Lady Cats to now hold off the challenges of the Mighty Oaks. Point by point, the two teams battled back and forth. Tied 13-13, a Might Oak net violation kept the lead in the hands of the Lady Cats. OCU continued to apply pressure, but the Lady Cats answered each challenge. A block by Christa Duffel expanded the lead to 19-17, but the Mighty Oaks were not going away. Abby Chadwell and Grace Hancock pounded home a pair of kills and the Oaks took a timeout trailing 21-18. Another pair of Duffel kills landed on the OCU side of the net out of the huddle and the Lady Cats took a 23-19 lead. An OCU point brought a C of O timeout as the Lady Cats pushed to the finish. OCU scored the first two points out of the huddle and the tension mounted. An OCU error brought up set point and a Bri Linehan kill secured the win, 25-22. 

Would the momentum be enough? That was the question to be answered with the fifth and final set. The Lady Cats struck first on the scoreboard and an OCU error followed by a Grace Hancock kill gave the Lady Cats the early 2-0 lead. OCU bounced back quickly, and the battle ensued. An Emma Godwin ace bumped the score to 4-2 and another Mighty Oak error was combined with an Abby Chadwell kill for a 6-2 advantage. An OCU timeout followed, and the Mighty Oaks responded with a quick point out of the huddle. A Christa Duffel kill put the Lady Cats up 8-4 and the teams traded sides of the net. Abby Chadwell hammered a kill off the Mighty Oak defenders and an OCU error bumped the score to 10-5. OCU continued to battle, and the Lady Cats were fighting to hold off their challenges. A Brooklyn Crawford kill was combined with an OCU error, and the lead grew to 13-8. Grace Hancock pounded home a kill and the Lady Cats were one point away from the come from behind win. A service error by the Mighty Oaks secured the 15-10 win and the 3-2 victory.

Abby Chadwell led the offensive attack with 14 kills while Bri Linehan and Grace Hancock added 13 and 10 respectively. Kamryn Link set up 40 assists and Mica Chadwell led the defense with 29 digs. Anna Howe and Kamryn Link each added 20 digs and Jocee Pettyjohn contributed 17 while Emma Godwin tacked on 10. 

The Lady Cats will play in the semifinals Friday at 6 PM in Keeter Gymnasium.
 

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