Cobra volleyball wins third title, second in two years

Peter Floess

Staff Writer

Parkland’s volleyball team. Photo from NJCAA website.

Parkland’s volleyball team. Photo from NJCAA website.

Parkland’s volleyball team brought home their third national title—and their second one in just as many years—in their first-ever back-to-back championship victories.

On Nov. 19, in Charleston, W.Va. Parkland volleyball defeated Springfield’s Lincoln Land College in three sets in the Division II finals, winning their third title. They also won last year’s title, meaning the team now boasts two, back-to-back national championships.

This season, they had a final win-loss record of 52–2.

Volleyball Coach Cliff Hastings says 2016’s season “was historic.”

“It was the first ever back-to-back title for Parkland, and this was only the second time ever that an NJCAA Division II team won the title in consecutive years,” Hastings said.

He says he is “really proud” of his second-year players, who helped to coordinate the team and performed admirably on the court, while first-year players quickly found their footing.

“…[O]ur sophomores all added several elements to their game to make them complete players while the freshmen found their voice and confidence to make us a team of 20 all on the same page and all performing at a high level. No other team gets the level of training our girls get every day in practice because of the high-level of both sides of the court at all times,” he said.

Hastings found the quarterfinal match of the national tournament particularly memorable, with the opposing team notably defensive-skilled, he said. He says the Cobras broke through these defenses with skill and “high level” execution.

Bailee Dunne, a defensive specialist, says she enjoyed “the excitement for each point” at nationals.

“[My] favorite game at nationals was the one against Scottsdale because we all played really well and with great excitement,” she said.

Dunne believes that during the course of this season the team learn how to play smarter and with more instinctive precision.

“For example, if the ball was set off the net, instead of pounding the ball, it would be more of a placed ball,” she said.

Another example Dunne gives of playing smart is “pushing the ball to open areas throughout the plays to throw the other team off.”

Parkland volleyball’s full schedule for the 2016 season—including their wins and losses for the entire season and the team’s roster—can be found online parkland.edu/athletics/volleyball.