NORFOLK, Neb. - The sixth-seeded NIACC volleyball team topped third-seeded Hawkeye CC 3-2 in the opening round of the NJCAA Region XI-B tournament on Saturday.
NIACC won 25-17, 25-21, 24-26, 20-25, 15-10 to advance to Sunday's regional title match against second-seeded Northeast CC.
"We are so proud of the team (Saturday)," NIACC coach Chris Brandt said. "They worked so hard together and showed real grit.
"Our defense worked hard to give us many opportunities."
NIACC improved its overall record to 23-14, which is the most wins in a season since the 2001 team was 27-21.
Northeast CC swept seventh-seeded Southwestern 3-0 (25-19, 25-16, 25-12) in its opening round match on Saturday.
The NJCAA Region XI-B title match is set for 1 p.m. Northeast CC topped NIACC 3-0 (25-20, 25-17, 25-20) in a regular season match in Norfolk, Neb. on Oct. 3.
In Saturday's tournament opener against Hawkeye CC, sophomore Hannah Wagner led the Lady Trojans with a career-high 32 kills to move her season total to 571. Wagner also added 27 digs.
Freshman Kennedy Meister had 19 kills with 25 digs. Meister now has 400 kills this season.
Also for the Lady Trojans, Connor Gauch had 33 digs, Ashley Groe had 29 assists, Sydney Roush had 28 assists, Sarah Kimberly had seven kills and seven blocks and Jamie Brenner had six kills, three digs and two blocks.
Top-seed Iowa Central takes on fourth-seed Kirkwood in the NJCAA Region XI-A championship match on Sunday in Fort Dodge. Iowa Central topped eighth-seeded Southeastern 3-0 and Kirkwood nipped DMACC 3-2 in the two matches in the Region XI-A tournament Saturday.
The highest-seeded champion advances to the NJCAA Division II national tournament. The lowest seeded champion advances to host the NJCAA Region XVI champion in a district championship on Nov. 4 with the winner of that match advancing to the national tournament.