Eagles advance to semifinals at volleyball championship

With two wins today, Polk State volleyball moves to the  semifinals at the NJCAA D1 Volleyball Championship in Hutchinson, Kan.  

"We are excited about being in the final four for the second time in the history of our program," said Head Coach German Del Valle.  

"And we're looking for the opportunity to play in the championship game for the first time. We are playing for everyone who trusts and supports us." 


In Thursday's first round, the fifth-seed Eagles defeated 12th-seed Panola College 3-1. After dropping the first set 23-25, the Eagles took the next three, 25-17, 25-22, 25-14. 

"We faced a tough Panola team, but we executed our game plan after the first set," said Del Valle.  

Aixa Vigil led the Eagles with 13 kills, 20 digs, and two aces. 

Milexa Cardona posted a team-high 36 assists to go with six digs and an ace. 

Manuela Ibarguen made 13 digs, 11 kills, and a pair of aces. 

Suared Molina contributed 10 digs, eight assists, and an ace. 

Mariane Cassiano tallied 10 digs, nine kills, and two blocks. 

Keren Souza added 11 kills and Nina Finderle had eight.


Moving to the quarterfinals, the Eagles beat 13th-seed Northeastern Junior College 3-1 (25-16, 20-25, 25-16, 25-19).   

"We had some great moments and moments that were not great," said Del Valle. "We can't forget that the teams we are playing did not have a free ticket here. They earned it and there is a reason why they are here. We have to stay focused on the next play. We have to make things happen no matter what our opponent is doing." 

Cardona led all players in assists (33) and had 10 digs, four kills, and an ace. 

Cassiano recorded 19 digs and 15 kills. 

Vigil contributed 14 digs, 10 kills, two assists, and an ace. 

Ibarguen finished with 16 digs, 12 kills, and an ace. 

Molina added 14 digs and eight assists, and Finderle tallied three kills and three digs. 


In a semifinal match Friday at 7:30 p.m., Polk State (No. 2 NJCAA) faces undefeated No. 1 seed Navarro College (No. 1 NJCAA).  The winner will play for the championship on Saturday. 



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