C of O Finishes Second in NCCAA National Volleyball Tournament

NCCAA VB Final
C of O Seniors Alex Spears, Halle Huffman, and Kayli Grant accepting the National Championship Runner Up Award from Hank Moore, NCCAA Volleyball Championship Chair. (Photo courtesy of C of O Sports Information)

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.