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Published 11/12/2003
Owens Community College Women's Volleyball Advances to NJCAA National Championship Tournament

Owens Express women's volleyball team in action The Owens Community College women's volleyball team is one step away from being crowned national champions after capturing its respective regional (District D) tournament title this past weekend. As a result of the program' s postseason success, Owens will now advance to the NJCAA Division II National Championships, November 13-15.

Owens' volleyball program is among 12 Division II college teams converging on the College's Toledo-area Campus this week to compete for a national championship. The NJCAA National Championship is being sponsored by Coca-Cola.

The women's volleyball championship appearance marks the first time Owens has earned a NJCAA Division II national tournament berth. However, the Express previously participated in five Division III national championship tournaments and finished third in 1998, 1999 and 2000.

"We are extremely proud of our women's volleyball team and their outstanding success throughout the season," said Michael Rickard, Owens Director of Athletics. "Having an athletic program advance to the national championship is an outstanding feat. The success of this year's team is a credit to the work ethic and dedication of our student-athletes and coaching staff. We wish them the best as they compete for a national title."

The Express women's volleyball team will take a 36-8 overall record into the NJCAA Division II National Championship tournament. Coached by Sonny Lewis, Owens will play Shawnee Community College (41-14) in Pool A action at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, November 13. Their second match of the day will be against McHenry County College (31-14) at 2 p.m. Owens will finish Thursday's volleyball action against the NJCAA No. 1 ranked Bethany Lutheran College (39-1) at 7 p.m.

Tournament play will continue on Friday, November 14. The Express will take on Genesee Community College (33-13) at 1 p.m. Owens will conclude tournament pool play with a match against Kellogg Community College (54-10) at 4 p.m.

Lewis' squad recently captured its fourth consecutive Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) regular season and tournament championships. During the title run, Owens has accumulated a record-setting 61 consecutive OCCAC match-winning streak. The Express are currently ranked No. 5 in the NJCAA Division II volleyball final regular season poll. Last weekend the volleyball program clinched the regional (District D) title by defeating St. Clair County Community College 29-31, 30-24, 30-28 and 30-22.

The Express volleyball team members include Angela Tolland of Toledo (Start H.S.), Alicia Khoury of Toledo (Bowsher H.S.), Dala Greear of Defiance (Ayersville H.S.), Melissa Fleig of Toledo (Springfield H.S.), Ashlee Kwiatkowski of Northwood (Northwood H.S.), Courtney Caldwell of Lambertville, Michigan (Bedford H.S.), Ashley Hill of Bellevue (Bellevue H.S.), Risa Smith of Lambertville, Michigan (Start H.S.), Ashley Howell of Gibsonburg (Gibsonburg H.S.), Danielle Rego of Toledo (Bowsher H.S.), Brianne Sawyer of Millbury (Lake H.S.), Jenai Slaughter of Oregon (Clay H.S.), Margot Frederick of Genoa (Genoa H.S.) and Amy Czupich of Temperance, Michigan (Bedford H.S.).

Thursday tournament pool play matches will occur at 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 12 p.m., 2 p.m., 3:15 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 5:45 p.m. and 7 p.m. On Friday, match pool play continues at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 4 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Semifinal matches will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday. The consolation match starts at 12 p.m., while the national championship match will begin at 2 p.m.

The complete list of 12 teams competing in the tournament are Bethany Lutheran College of Mankato, Minnesota; Kellogg Community College of Battle Creek, Michigan; Owens Community College of Toledo, Ohio; McHenry County College of Crystal Lake, Illinois; Shawnee Community College of Ullin, Illinois; Genesee Community College of Batavia, New York; Scottsdale Community College of Scottsdale, Arizona; Kishwaukee College of Malta, Illinois; Kirkwood Community College of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Northwest-Shoals Community College of Muscle Shoals, Alabama; Johnson County Community College of Overland Park, Kansas, and Hagerstown Community College of Hagerstown, Maryland.

All matches will take place at the College's Student Health and Activities Center (SHAC) on the Toledo-area Campus, which is located on Oregon Road, four miles from Downtown Toledo.

Tickets for the NJCAA Women's Volleyball National Championship are $4 for adults and $2 for youth. Children five and under are admitted for free. For more information, or to purchase tickets, contact the College's Athletics Office at (567) 661-7973 or 1-800-GO-OWENS, Ext. 7973.

Owens Community College is the fastest-growing higher educational institution in Ohio with 26 consecutive semesters of enrollment increases. On the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses, Owens serves more than 40,000 credit and non-credit students making it the number one choice for new college students. Owens is committed to providing small classes, personal attention and unmatched affordability. Owens Community College offers over 130 program areas in Agriculture, Business, Fine and Performing Arts, Health, Public Service, Skilled Trades, Industrial and Engineering Technologies. Owens students also can earn the first two years of a bachelor 's degree with a smooth transfer to any area four-year college or university.


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