The Snow College Volleyball team peaked at just the right time by finishing the regular season with a 3-1 win over No. 6 ranked Salt Lake Community College and a 3-0 win over the College of Southern Idaho.
The Badgers took their momentum into the Region XVIII Tournament in Rangely, Colo. and beat the host team Colorado Northwestern Community College 3-0. Then Snow turned in a repeat win over SLCC 3-1; and the Lady Badgers won again on Saturday against the No. 1 seeded USU-E Eagles 3-0 to win the championship.
Snow College had nine blocks and 46 digs while hitting a collective .378 against CNCC. Sophomore Ellie Martindale had seven digs and three aces; Eden Whitmore had eight kills; KJ Strong had nine kills and zero errors to lead the Badgers.
Round two of the Region Tournament matched the Badgers against the conference and No. 9 ranked Bruins of SLCC. Snow stepped up right from the beginning with Sage Loveland serving and beginning the match with six perfect passes in a row. The Badgers sophomores led the way with Strong, who had 18 kills, hitting .571; Macie Gordon had 12 kills and hit .391 with an additional eight digs.
“We are peaking at just the right time,” said Gordon prior to the match with SLCC.
Hanna Smith passed extremely well and also had 11 digs and six kills, Whitmore came off the bench at a crucial time to end with back to back kills and finished off the match hitting .750.
The Badgers clinched the national tournament berth with straight sets win over region rival USU-E 25-21, 25-22 and 25-19. All around play by everyone on the court gave the momentum to the Badgers. Sophomore Kara Clayton hit .571 with three blocks, Macy Short as a setter had the highest hitting percentage with .667, six kills, three blocks, 46 assists and 10 digs. Strong hit .571 with three blocks and freshman Bailey Rasmussen had 14 kills hitting .273. Gordon had four blocks and also hit an impressive .333 and nine digs. Loveland also helped the Badgers with ten digs.
Freshman Bailey Rasmussen and KJ Strong were named to the All-Tournament team and the Tournament MVP was Macy Short. Short and Strong made first team all-region while Gordon made 2nd team all-region and Kara Clayton made honorable mention for Snow College.
The Badgers now wait for their matchup in the NJCAA Tournament that begins Nov. 18 in Hutchinson, KS.