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Ohio team wins third straight NJCAA volleyball title, in Rochester

Owens Community College of Perrysburg, Ohio, won a five-set match against Rock Valley, Illinois, in the NJCAA Division III volleyball championship match on Saturday at UCR Regional Sports Center in Rochester.

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The Owens Community College (Perrysburg, Ohio) volleyball team captured its third consecutive national championship on Saturday in Rochester. Photo courtesy of Owens Community College Athletics

Owens Community College (Perrysburg, Ohio) won a five-set battle to capture the NJCAA Division III volleyball national championship at UCR Regional Sports Center on the RCTC campus on Saturday.

In a battle of the top two teams in the country, the Express defeated Rock Valley College (Illinois) in a thriller of a match, winning 25-23, 23-25, 25-23, 25-20, 15-12.

The title is the third consecutive for Owens, as it becomes the first team in NJCAA Division III volleyball history to accomplish the feat.

Owens entered the tournament as the No. 2 seede, while Rock Valley was No. 1.

The Golden Eagles defeated the Express early in the season to take over the No. 1 ranking and didn't look back, until Saturday. Freshman outside hitter Maddie White led Owens with 21 kills and led the team with 17 digs.

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The Golden Eagles jumped out to an early 21-12 lead in the first set, but the Express roared back to within two points before losing the set 25-23. Rock Valley's Addison Metts had eight kills in the opening set.

Owens fell behind early in the second set. and Rock Valley was two points away from going up 2-0, but the Express scored the final four points to win the set and tie the match 1-1.

The third set was just as competitive as the first two, with Rock Valley once again jumping out to an early lead. Owens stormed back to keep it close but the Golden Eagles took the third set 25-23.

The fourth set went back and forth and saw five lead changes. Owens took the lead for good after breaking a 13-13 tie.

The fourth set seemed to turn the momentum in the Express' favor, and the fifth set secured it the championship. The fifth set was tied 9-9, with Sydnie Meinke set to serve. Meinke delivered a service ace to give the Express the lead for good, en route to its third consecutive national championship.

Owens' Metts and Madisen Perry were Nos. 1-2 in kills in the nation and their impact was felt throughout the entire tournament. They finished the championship match with 32 and 23 kills, respectively.

Minnesota teams finish strong

Third-seeded Minnesota State Community & Technical College-Fergus Falls defeated No. 5 seed SUNY Broome in the third-place match. Both teams capped off their seasons on a high note, with the Hornets' first tournament appearance ending in a top-4 finish.

Central Lakes College (Brainerd) put together another impressive showing at the championship, winning the fifth-place match.

Related Topics: VOLLEYBALL
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