For the second time in school history Waubonsee Community College is headed to the NJCAA Division II Women's Volleyball National Championship Tournament. Behind top-notch performances by Sydney Fedderly, Sydni Coultrip and Rebecca Robinson, the Chiefs captured the Region IV Midwest District A Tournament title by downing Black Hawk College 3-1 in the semi-finals and Sauk Valley Community College 3-1 in the championship. Waubonsee (24-15) now advances to the 16-team, double elimination National Tournament held in Charleston, West Virginia beginning on November 21. Once all the 16 qualifying teams are seeded, the Chiefs' first round match-up will be determined. Waubonsee's other appearance at the National Tournament was in 2014 when they finished 13th nationally going 35-16 overall.
On Saturday the Chiefs won their opening match of the Region IV Tournament, hosted by the College of Lake County, sweeping eighth-seeded Triton College three games to none. In the Chiefs' semi-final win over Black Hawk (16-16) this morning, Waubonsee narrowly won the first game 25-23. The Braves reversed those numbers in game two winning by the same score. The Chiefs then took control with a dominating 25-8 triumph in the third game, and then clinched a berth in the finals with a 25-12 victory. Fedderly registered 17 kills and 17 digs to lead the way. Coultrip also was major contributor with 14 kills, 21 assists, nine digs and a pair of service aces. Robinson tallied 23 assists, five aces and 10 digs, while Lydia Sabanish recorded 24 digs and Alyssa Gittins added three solo blocks.
Waubonsee matched up against the hottest team in the Region in the title match. Sauk Valley (28-15), ranked as high as 20th nationally two weeks ago, had won 22 of their last 26 matches. The Skyhawks also knocked off top-seeded and 22nd ranked Moraine Valley Community College (26-9) earlier in the day to reach the finals. Sauk Valley kept that momentum going by winning the first game 25-22. Waubonsee battled back to take game two 25-18 and then got the upper hand by winning game three 25-17. Game four was an epic battle with the Skyhawks desperately trying to stave off elimination. However, the Chiefs pulled out a thrilling 29-27 win to earn the program's second ever berth in the National Tournament.
Five Chiefs' players reached double figures in kills as Waubonsee totaled 64 kills and 103 digs for the match. The 5'8" Fedderly again came up big with 16 kills and 17 digs. Coultrip booked 10 kills, 25 assists, 14 digs and three solo blocks. Robinson was credited with 33 assists, 17 digs and four aces, while Gittins chipped in with 11 kills and three aces. Anna Friedlund finished with 10 kills, Gabrielle Dlabal also registered 10 kills, and Sabanish added 20 digs.
Waubonsee head coach Steve Kish has now guided the Chiefs' program to 24 or more wins in seven consecutive seasons, despite annually playing one of the toughest schedules in the country. The Chiefs have faced 15 nationally ranked teams in their 39 matches played this season. Fedderly is currently 16th nationally among all NJCAA Division II players in kills with 448, eighth in service aces with 74 and 10th in points with 556.0, while Robinson is 7th in aces with 79 and Gittins is 9th in solo blocks with 87. For more information on the upcoming National Tournament, go on-line to www.njcaa.org