Congratulations to the Columbia College volleyball team for claiming their fourth NAIA national title and first since 2001, when the Cougars beat Missouri Baptist 3-0 (28-26, 25-16, and 25-21), in Sioux City Iowa.
It was the fourth meeting this season between the two Missouri schools.
The Spartans advanced to the National Championship match for the first time in school history after defeating Viterbo University Saturday morning 3-0 in the semifinal round.
“We worked all year to overcome a lot of things,” said Columbia head coach Melinda Wrye-Washington to ColumbiaCougars.com. “We went through a lot of peaks and valleys, a lot of roller coaster rides, through injuries and sickness to make it here tonight. This group persisted, they never gave up on each other. Their character in practice and the ability to invest in everything they did, physically, mentally and emotionally and invest in their training and have the character to persist through everything that happened to them over the season has just been amazing.”
Polina Severina and Sashiko Heredia were honored and Penny Liu was named theNAIA Volleyball National Championship Most Valuable Player. In addition, head coach Melinda Wrye-Washington was crowned the NAIA Volleyball National Championship Coach of the Year.
Two Spartans were named to the All-Tournament team: Mallory Dillon and Haley Pouliezos. Pouliezos was also named the NAIA Libero of the Year for the second year in a row.