Ridgewater repeats as national volleyball champion
It wasn't any easier the second time around for the Ridgewater College volleyball team, but the Warriors again got the job done.
In a rematch of last year's NJCAA Division III national championship match, the Warriors again defeated Brookhaven College of Farmers Branch, Texas. Ridgewater won 3-1 on Saturday at University Center Rochester Regional Sports Center to claim the program's second consecutive national title and fourth overall.
The Warriors had to battle for every point, winning 31-29, 17-25, 29-27, 25-22.
Ridgewater's sophomore hitter, Hannah Smith, was named the tournament's MVP. Warriors head coach Joe Sussenguth was named the national Division III Coach of the Year.
The top-ranked and top-seeded Warriors, who finished 31-3 this season, previously won titles in 2002, 2006 and 2010. Saturday marked their eighth appearance in the national title match. They have never finished worse than third in the country under Sussenguth, who took over as head coach in 2006.
No. 2-ranked Brookhaven finished its season 21-19.
In Saturday's other matches:
• Rock Valley College of Illinois defeated Northland Community and Technical College (Thief River Falls) for third place, 3-1.
• Lorain County Community College earned a 3-1 victory against Niagara County Community College of New York in the consolation final.
• Davidson County Community College (N.C.) beat the Fashion Institute of Technology (New York, N.Y.), 3-0, for seventh place.