Region 8 fares well at volleyball nationals

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (November 23, 2019) - Four teams from Region 8 delivered a strong showing at the NJCAA Division I and Division II Volleyball National Championships.

At the Division I Championships in Hutchinson, Kan., FCSAA State Champion Miami Dade College was joined by Polk State College and Hillsborough Community College. 

The No. 2 seed Sharks, national champions in both 2016 and 2017, rolled through the first two rounds, knocking off Gadsden (Ala.) State Community College and Iowa Western Community College before being eliminated by the de facto home team, Seward County (Kan.) Community College, in the semifinals in a five-set thriller. 

The oppposite side of the bracket featured No. 5 seed Polk State and No. 8 seed Hillsborough. Both teams won its opening round match, but only Polk State advanced through to the semifinals. Top-seed and eventual national champion Navarro (Texas) College knocked out Hillsborough in straight sets in the quarterfinals then beat Polk State in four sets in the semis. 

As a result, Miami Dade and Polk State squared off one final time in the third-place match, won by the Sharks in straight sets. Hillsborough fell to Iowa Western in five sets in the tournament's fifth-place match. 

Miami Dade's Camila De la Rosa and Scheirine Dahoue were named to the All-Tournament Team, along with Hillsborough's Isabel Martin and Polk State's Aixa Vigil.

Meanwhile, in Charleston, W.V., Sun-Lakes Conference Tournament Champion Gulf Coast State College made its debut in the Division II Championships. The Commodores were seeded sixth but dropped its opening match in five sets to immediately fall into the consolation bracket. 

With its national championship aspirations gone, Gulf Coast State rallied to win its next two matches before falling to Kirkwood (Iowa) Community College in the tournament's ninth-place match. 

Freshman Emma Richards was named to the All-Tournament Team.