by: Dori Rapinchuk, C of O Sports Information
College of the Ozarks Lady Bobcats put on a great show Saturday afternoon in the 2018 NCCAA DI Women’s Volleyball National Championship Match.
The tournament was hosted by College of the Ozarks for the first time, as part of a three-year agreement with the NCCAA. It featured eight qualifying teams split into two pools for a total of 12 opening matches of pool play. Following pool play, the top two teams in each pool advanced to play in the semi-finals, with the two victors playing in the championship match on Saturday.
The Lady Bobcats entered the event as the No. 3 seed and closed out the weekend with a Runner-Up finish. Biola University (Calif.) defeated the Lady Bobcats 3-1 (25-18, 20-25, 25-21, 25-13) on Saturday to capture the crown for the second consecutive year.
Leading the way for the Lady Bobcats in the season’s final match were: Senior Alex Spears, who tallied 11 kills and 11 digs for her fifth double-double in as many matches; Rielly Dobbs (30 assists); Haley Stallings (17 digs), and Kaylan Smith (5 blocks). Senior Kayli Grant was also a key contributor, adding 10 kills, 4 digs, and 4 blocks in the final match of her career.
Numerous accolades were bestowed this weekend on the team and several of its members:
- 2018 NCCAA DI Women’s Volleyball National Championship Runner Up
- NCCAA All-American First Team: Rielly Dobbs, Kayli Grant, and Alex Spears
- NCCAA All-Tournament Team: Alex Spears and Rielly Dobbs
- NCCAA All-Tournament Most Outstanding Player: Alex Spears
- NCCAA Scholar Athlete: Rielly Dobbs, Shay Helsel, Kaylee Larimer, Maggie Plake, Alex Spears, and Haley Stallings.
The Lady Bobcats close out their 2018 season with a 33-7 record.