RCTC wins region volleyball title, earns national berth
The Rochester Community and Technical College volleyball team is headed back to the NJCAA Division III National Tournament.
The Yellowjackets, ranked No. 2 in the country in Division III, earned the national berth by rolling to the Region XIIIA championship on its home court over the weekend.
RCTC toppled Ridgewater 3-0 in the region semifinals on Friday and then posted another 3-0 sweep over St. Cloud Technical and Community College on Saturday.
"It feels great going back to nationals," RCTC coach Amber Zitzow said. "I am excited for this group of ladies. From day one they have all gotten along and all have been on the same page."
The Yellowjackets opened with a 25-10, 25-12, 25-17 victory over Ridgewater.
Carrie Rutledge sparked RCTC with 14 kills, six digs and three ace serves while Brekkin McCready had 29 set assists, six digs and three ace blocks. Hayley Dessner had 10 kills, eight digs and two ace serves and Molly Kleist had six kills.
AnnMarie Jalmasco chipped in with two ace blocks while Kate Bade had 12 digs. Bade and Madison Sawyer both had two ace serves.
RCTC then swept St. Cloud 25-18, 25-17, 25-19 in a hard-fought match on Saturday to capture the region title for the second straight year and improve to 30-2.
"St. Cloud played a great game against us," Zitzow said. "They weren't going to give up and were going to be full of energy. We did a great job of sticking to the game plan, staying calm, and communicating."
Dessner led the attack at the net with 15 kills and she added 11 digs. Rutledge had 13 kills and 13 digs, while McCready had 34 set assists, eight digs, three ace blocks and two ace serves
Bade had 13 digs and two ace serves, Kleist again had six kills and Jessica Storm had 11 digs and two ace serves.
McCready was named the MVP of the tournament. She was also named to the All-Tournament Team as were Rutledge and Dessner.
" Brekkin McCready, our setter, did an amazing job of leading our team this weekend," Zitzow said. "The team really responds to her."
The Yellowjackets will not have to travel for the national tournament. The event will be held Nov. 14-16 at Rochester Regional Center.