PHOENIX, Ariz. – The top-seeded Parkland (Ill.) Cobras capped a story book season with a 25-15, 25-19, 25-19 victory over No. 6 seed Lincoln Land (Ill.) to claim the 2015 NJCAA Division II Volleyball title Saturday night at the Phoenix College Gymnasium.
Lincoln Land shook off any jitters it may have had early as it jumped out to a 5-2 lead in the first set. Following a Loggers error, Parkland promptly erased the deficit with 7-1 run to force Lincoln Land into the first timeout of the evening.
With momentum on its side Parkland maintained control as it was able to stay out front for much of the early stages of the second set and led by as much as three. The Loggers, however, battled back drawing level with the Cobras on five occasions before coercing a 13-12 advantage. The Lincoln Land lead was short-lived as Parkland struck back with a 4-0 run before eventually securing a 25-19 result.
Trailing 2-0 into the third set, the Loggers again scored first with back-to-back points before an undaunted Parkland quickly took command with an 8-2 run.
During the final set, the Cobras led by as much as 10. With the help from a 7-2 run, Lincoln Land began to chip away at the Parkland advantage resulting in a rare timeout from the Cobras’ bench with the score 17-12.
Following the break, the Loggers maintained momentum as they added three unanswered points to slice the lead to two and force Parkland back to its bench to regroup.
With an unforced error by Lincoln Land after the huddle, the Cobras pulled away with an 8-2 run to secure the match and erase a 16-year drought since the program’s last national championship victory.
Prior to the trophy presentation, Parkland freshman Sofi Kelemete was the named the tournament MVP, while Cliff Hastings earned coach of the tournament honors.
Photo courtesy of DMJames Photography.