By Scott Kindberg
ROCHESTER, Minn. - The Jamestown Community College women's volleyball team was planning a nice dinner Saturday night to cap their weekend at the NJCAA Division III National Tournament.
Here's guessing that the conversation was undoubtedly upbeat, even giddy.
For in a season in which they were few in numbers, the Jayhawks, who numbered six, proved on the biggest stage that they are one of the nation's best.
Sophomore Brittany Brace had 19 kills, 12 digs and two blocks to lead No. 5 JCC to a 19-25, 25-21, 23-25, 25-23, 15-11 victory over No. 6 Howard County (Md.) CC to claim fourth place in the tournament, which was held at the University Center Sports Center.
Brace, who earned a place on the all-tournament team, had plenty of help from her teammates.
Sophomore Anna Nietupski had an ace, seven kills, 37 digs and one block; freshman Christina Rauh had five aces, 33 assists, 12 kills, 17 digs and one block; freshman Aricca Lis had one ace, 14 kills and 21 digs; and sophomore Kelsey Kyser had three aces, 10 kills and 13 digs.
''It's all about them,'' said Coach Ashley Lund, who earned her 101st career victory. ''They put in the effort and the time on the court. It's all because of them that it happened.''
The Jayhawks found themselves trailing, 2-1, but Nietupski and Rauh helped the team rally to win the fourth and fifth games, 25-23 and 15-11.
''I really hope it does wonders for our program,'' said Lund, who completed her fourth season at the helm. ''It really shows what we're about. It's not just a community college, it's something more.''
Other teams took notice this weekend, too.
See JCC, Page C4
From Page C1
''A lot of teams were rooting for us,'' Lund said. '' ... That was a really cool feeling.
''I definitely felt like we were the underdogs, even though we were seeded fifth going in. ... I expected the girls to play well and they came out and performed just as we have practiced and seen all season.''
The Jayhawks end their season with a 34-12 record.
''It's awesome for the program,'' Lund said.