Athletics News

Women's Volleyball

Skipjacks shoot for Final Four regional berth
Chesapeake College seeded fourth with pool play set for Saturday

HAGERSTOWN – Many people treat Sunday as a day of rest, but the Skipjacks hope to spend this Sunday on the job.

"We want to be playing Sunday morning," said Chesapeake College women’s volleyball head coach Jay Covey, referring to this weekend’s NJCAA Region XX Final Four. "Last year we nearly made it to Sunday, and we definitely want to be there this time."

In order to qualify for Sunday’s regional semifinals, the Skipjacks – seeded fourth in the seven-team field – will have to finish first or second Saturday in the region’s three-team Pool A. The first-place finisher in Pool A plays the Pool B runner-up in one of Sunday’s 11 a.m. semifinals, with the Pool A runner-up playing the Pool B champion in the other semifinal.

The finals are scheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday. All tournament matches take place at Hagerstown Community College.

Covey said his Skipjacks (11-8) are ready for regionals.

"We’re playing our best volleyball of the season right now," said Covey, whose team won eight of their final 11 regular-season matches. Two of the three losses during that time span came against the College of Southern Maryland – seeded second in the region and the favorite in Pool B – with each match lasting four highly competitive games.

"I believe we can play with the top teams in the conference, and I think the players are starting to believe that, too," said Covey.

The Skipjacks will be bringing a lot of weapons to the regional tournament.

Sophomore hitters Kyra Ringgold (third in the state with 3.27 kills per set) and Verushka Perez have both been effective in the middle, while fellow sophomores Jordan Glessner and Tiara Whye, and freshman O’Sha Adams, have made significant contributions from the wings. Meanwhile, the versatile Adams and Lexie Holder (third in the state with 0.87 aces per set) have done well while sharing setting duties.

Defensively, Glessner is eighth in the state in digs (2.59 per set). Sara Bailey and Lindsey Farinholt have worked their way into regular roles off the bench, which was depleted when Diana Dieter broke her leg at midseason in a fall softball game. (Dieter is expected to be ready to play softball for the Skipjacks this spring.)

Chesapeake opens regional play with a 9:30 a.m. match Saturday against top-seeded Hagerstown Community College. The Hawks (29-9), ranked 20th in the latest NJCAA Division II national poll, went 12-0 in league matches while winning the Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference championship. Hagerstown swept a three-set match against Chesapeake in the regular season.

The Skipjacks’ key match takes place at noon when they take on fifth-seeded Harford Community College. Unless Chesapeake or Harford upsets Hagerstown, this match will decide the second team to emerge from Pool A and move on to Sunday’s contests.

Chesapeake took both ends of a home-and-home series with Harford, winning six of seven sets in the process.

Top-seeded College of Southern Maryland, third-seeded Potomac State College of West Virginia University, sixth-seeded Community College Baltimore County-Essex, and seventh-seeded Cecil College comprise Pool B.

Photo caption (Photo by Tom Miller):
Sophomore hitters Jordan Glessner, right, and Verushka Perez hope to help Chesapeake College reach Sunday’s NJCAA Division II Region XX Final Four.

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