ECC volleyball is heading to Toledo.
The Falcons (20-25) captured their first NJCAA Division II District O championship since 2010 Saturday in Nevada, Mo., by knocking off second-seeded Wentworth Military Academy, 25-19, 25-23, 23-25, 25-15.
“The girls played a great tournament in regards to giving 100 percent effort in everything including team energy and supporting each other,” ECC Head Coach Lisa Mathes-Peters said. “We would not have been successful this weekend if the girls had not come together on everything (offense, defense and just by being a good teammate).”
The Falcons will play in the NJCAA Division II National Tournament in Toledo Nov. 21-23.
The tournament is being hosted by Owens Community College and this is the final year of the three-year contract at that site.
“I am proud of each player on my team including those who may not start or get much playing time,” Mathes-Peters said. “We are only finding this success because they all push each other and keep each girl competing for their spot. This trip to nationals is truly a team effort.”
Wentworth won the earlier meeting over the Falcons in the District O Seeding Tournament.
“The girls were excited to play Wentworth in the final because we didn’t give a good showing against them at home earlier in the season,” Mathes-Peters said.
Against Wentworth, the Falcons had three players in double digits in kills.
Sophomore Amanda Reetz (West Delaware, Manchester, Iowa) led the way with 14 kills. Sophomore Jacy Conway (Eminence) posted 12 kills and freshman Abby Toppmeyer (Ft. Zumwalt North) posted 11 kills. Freshman Hannah Leslie (Washington) had four kills.
The other offense came from freshmen setters Paige Schmelzle (Ste. Genevieve) and Abby Spuhl (Pacific), who logged two kills each.
Schmelzle posted 20 assists while Spuhl ended with 18 and Toppmeyer had one.
Sophomore Megan Manis (Winona) served five aces and Reetz added one.
Sophomore Haley Zenner (Dubuque, Iowa) led the team with 28 digs. Manis added 17 while Conway had 15, Reetz posted 14 and freshman Alyssa Schrader (Troy) ended with 11.
Leslie and Spuhl had eight apiece. Schmelzle ended with four and Toppmeyer added one dig.
“Wentworth had a very big middle who loved to play the net,” Mathes-Peters said. “We struggled containing her a bit but in the end finished strong.”
Leslie posted four blocks. Schmelzle was next with two. Reetz, Toppmeyer and Spuhl each had one.