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Owens Volleyball Will Play for National Championship

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Owens Community College's volleyball program is one step away from being crowned national champions after winning the NJCAA Region XII District E Women's Championship. As a result of their postseason success, the Express women's volleyball team will now advance to the NJCAA Division II Women's Volleyball National Championship Tournament, Thursday-Saturday, Nov. 15-17.  Owens is serving as the host site for the national tournament.

This marks Owens' third trip to the NJCAA Division II National championship tournament. Additionally, the Express participated in five Division III national championship tournaments and finished third in 1998, 1999 and 2000.

The Express earned their trip to nationals by winning the regional title at Grand Rapids Community College in Grand Rapids, Mich. Owens defeated Columbus State Community College (25-13, 20-25, 18-25, 25-22, 15-10) in the championship match to advance to the national tournament.

Led by Express Head Coach Sonny Lewis, the volleyball program's overall record now stands at 35-9. In late October, the Express women's volleyball team captured the outright Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) regular season championship with a victory over Columbus State. Owens has won 12 out of the last 13 OCCAC regular season championships. Lewis' squad finished 12-0 in the OCCAC regular season standings and is ranked No. 17 in the latest NJCAA Division II national volleyball regular season poll.

This marks the second consecutive year that Owens will host the national championship tournament. The College has hosted the national championship tournament on eight previous occasions. In addition to last year, Owens served as the host site for the NJCAA Division II Women's Volleyball National Championship Tournament from 2001-04 and the NJCAA Division III Women's Volleyball National Championship Tournament from 1998-2000.

The top 16 NJCAA Division II teams from across the country will compete in the double elimination consolation tournament. All matches will occur in the College's Student Health and Activities Center on the Toledo-area Campus. Owens is located on Oregon Road in Perrysburg Township.

Tournament competition in the 16-team event begins on Thursday, Nov. 15, with first round matches taking place at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. The second round will begin at 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Thursday. On Friday, Nov. 16, the national volleyball tournament continues with losers' bracket and national semifinal matches at 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

The tournament will conclude on Saturday, Nov. 17, with consolation bracket matches at 12 p.m. followed by the fifth place match at 2:30 p.m., the third place match at 4:30 p.m. and national championship match at 6:30 p.m.

Owens will play Kirkwood Community College in their first match of the national tournament at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 15. If they would advance, the Express will play the winner of the Iowa Central Community College/Monroe College match at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday.

The list of 16 teams competing in the tournament are Cowley County Community College, Arkansas City, Kan. (35-0); Grand Rapids Community College, Grand Rapids, Mich. (35-1); Parkland College, Champaign, Ill. (42-7); Iowa Central Community College, Fort Dodge, Iowa (34-10); Kirkwood Community College, Cedar Rapids, Iowa (37-8); Moraine Valley Community College, Palos Hills, Ill. (35-0); Phoenix College, Phoenix, Ariz. (19-10); Lincoln Land Community College, Springfield, Ill. (31-7); Kansas City Community College, Kansas City, Kan. (30-6); Kishwaukee Community College, Malta, Ill. (30-13); Central Community College, Columbus, Neb. (30-10); Owens Community College, Toledo, Ohio (35-9); Monroe College, New Rochelle, N.Y. (35-5); Catawba Valley Community College, Hickory, N.C. (34-0); Hagerstown Community College, Hagerstown, Md. (24-3), and Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, Miami, Okla. (17-7).

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