Eagles finish fifth in national volleyball tournament

Head Coach German Del Valle (back row left), Laurel Smith, Polk State professor of health and wellness (back row center), and the Eagles celebrate after the team finished fifth at the national championship tournament. (Photo by Tom Hagerty, Polk State.)
Head Coach German Del Valle (back row left), Laurel Smith, Polk State professor of health and wellness (back row center), and the Eagles celebrate after the team finished fifth at the national championship tournament. (Photo by Tom Hagerty, Polk State.)

No. 9 Polk State defeated No. 6 Mineral Area College 3-1 (25-23, 25-23, 23-25, 27-25) today to finish fifth in the NJCAA Division 1 Women's Volleyball Championship in Hutchison, Kan.  

The Eagles' only loss in the tournament was to No. 1 Miami Dade College, the defending national champion. Each win came against a higher-seeded opponent.

 "We have to be grateful," said Head Coach German del Valle. 

"Number one, a lot of people would've loved to be here and to have this opportunity to compete for the national title.

"And number two, we had an opportunity to finish among the five best teams in the nation."

Manuela Vargas finished in double figures in assists (49) and digs (16). She also had three blocks and a kill.

Chiara Bosetti led the Eagles in kills with 17 and added 14 digs, four blocks, and four aces.

Kathya Garcia recorded double figures in digs (17) and kills (16) to go with a block and a pair of aces.

Anilise Fitzi made 13 kills, four blocks, and a dig.

Veronika Nemcova tallied 10 kills, three digs, and two blocks.

Kaylee Gartino finished with six blocks, four kills, and a dig.

Diana Carranza had 17 digs and three aces.

Aurora Alderman contributed 12 digs, two assists, and an ace.

Nicky Pio added five digs and two assists.

The Eagles finish the season 20-9. Polk State has competed in the national for four straight years.

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