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Owens Community College Women's Basketball
Advances to NJCAA National Championship Tournament
The Owens Community College women’s basketball team is one step away from being crowned national champions after capturing their respective regional (District H) tournament title this past weekend. As a result of their postseason success, the women’s basketball program will now advance to the NJCAA Division II National Championships, Wednesday-Saturday, March 17- 20.
This marks Owens’ fourth trip – and second consecutive – to the national championship tournament. The Express’ previous appearances included seventh and eighth place finishes in 1998 and 1999 championship competition, respectively. Last year’s team was led by the late Head Coach Mark Henry and finished in sixth place.
“We are extremely proud of our Owens Express student-athletes and their outstanding success,” said Michael Rickard, Owens Director of Athletics. “Having an athletic program advance to a national championship is quite an accomplishment. The success of the program is a credit to the work ethic and dedication of our players and coaching staffs, and their commitment to playing team basketball.”
The Express women’s basketball team will take a 23-9 overall record into the NJCAA Division II National Championship Tournament, which will be held at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas. Led by Interim Head Coach Matt Godfrey, Owens will play Johnson County Community College (17-14 Overland Park, Kansas) in a first round game, beginning at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, March 17. A win advances Godfrey’s squad to the quarterfinals where they would play Kalamazoo Valley Community College (31-1 Kalamazoo, Michigan) at 4 p.m. on Thursday, March 18. Owens will play at 10 a.m. on Thursday, March 18 in the consolation bracket should they lose to Johnson County. The championship game of the national tournament will begin at 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 20.
“I feel privileged to coach such an outstanding group of student-athletes,” said Matt Godfrey, Owens Women’s Basketball Interim Head Coach. “Each individual has shown a dedication to playing very unselfish basketball and a willingness to do whatever it takes to win.”
Godfrey added, “The success our program has experienced this season is a lasting tribute to Mark Henry. Nothing would be greater than winning the NJCAA National Championship in his honor.”
The Owens women’s basketball program finished the Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) regular season in fourth place with a 9-5 mark. During the season, the Express were ranked as high as No. 7 in the NJCAA Division II women’s basketball poll. Last weekend the basketball program clinched the regional (District H) title by defeating Schoolcraft College 60-55, Wayne County Community College 70-65 and Lakeland Community College 85-59.
Members of the Express women’s basketball program are Jodelynn Stiriz of Wauseon, forward (Wauseon High School), Sarah Johnson of Sylvania, forward (Northview High School), Stacey Weiland of Pemberville, guard (Eastwood High School), Lauren Strong of Grosse Ile, MI, guard (Grosse Ile High School), Laura Wilson of Fremont, guard (Fremont Ross High School), Katie McClure of Liberty Center, guard (Liberty Center High School) and Heather Peer of Ypsilanti, MI, guard (Huron High School).
The Owens roster also includes Catina Stubleski of Lambertville, MI, guard (Bedford High School), Caroline Eboumbou of Paris, France, forward (Lycée Jean Zay High School), Rachel Dedrick of St. Mary’s, guard (St. Mary’s Memorial High School), Sarah Morgart of Wayne, forward (Elmwood High School), Sammantha Schneider of Fremont, forward (Fremont Ross High School), Sarah Moore of Taylor, MI, forward (Truman High School), Niccole Brown of Toledo, forward (Central Catholic High School) and Shannon Kubicek of Toledo, center (Maumee High School).
Tournament brackets for the NJCAA women's basketball National Championship: