Story postscript: Great season, Lady Volleyball Lakers! The team lost in finals play on Nov. 18. Final score at the NJCAA tourney was a loss to Johnson County Community College 3-0. They finish with a 25-15 record, which is a season high for a Coach Rob Kaleikau MCC-Longview team. The group of young women represented MCC well with their teamwork, tenacity and never say die attitude.
The Lady Lakers, with a current 24-13 record, became the 2016 National Junior College Academic Association Division II, Region 16, District O (Missouri/Oklahoma region) champs in games on Nov. 4 and 5 in St. Louis, Mo.
It was an undefeated district finals championship win. The Lakers took Wentworth Military College in three straight sets, and then downed East Central Missouri, also in three straight sets.
The team is now headed to the national tournament in Charleston, W.Va. Nov. 17-19.
The Lady Lakers will be going in as a No. 14 seed. They will play the No. 3 seed, Lincoln Land Community College from Springfield, Il. at 8 a.m. Central on Nov. 17.
Follow the action and watch games live at NJCAAtv.com.
Head Coach Rob Kaleikau reflected on team this season, “They have worked very hard to improve team chemistry, enhance skills performance, maintain their grades, balance work, life, jobs and overall understand what it takes to go from high school to college volleyball.” Kaleikau has a formula for success: performance (attitude/academics/team/mechanics) + energy (stamina/work ethic/sweat/hard work = FUN.
The team was unbeaten in regional play and went 10-0, losing only three sets all season. The Lakers also defeated three nationally ranked and recognized teams: Iowa Central Community College, Highland Community College and East Central College.
Over the past ten seasons, MCC-Longview has emerged as one of the premiere programs in the NJCAA. The program has been ranked nationally, including several years in the top ten and has qualified four times for the national tournament including two seasons finishing 6th and 9th, respectively.
Honors for the team this year:
Kaleikau was named Coach of the Year for the Region, a title he also held in 2015, 2014 and 2011. Kaleikau is honored to be supported by Kirk Nooks, MCC-Longview president, Clint Culbertson, athletic director; Viki Clark, MCC-Longview recreation center director, Assistant Coaches Philip Bennett, Darin Bower and Marnie Winters, Team Manager Kylee Julian, Athletic Trainer Joel Saulsberry and many MCC-Longview teachers who helped the students maintain academic focus during the hectic volleyball season.
Lady Lakers Ava Peterson, Kelby Williams and Aspen Booker were named to the 2016 All-Region 1st Team.
Joslyn Ortiz was named to the 2nd Team.
Team class photos:
The Lakers last visit to the Nationals was in 2014, when they finished the season with a 13-20 record.