Volleyball: PSC opens with Owens at National Tourney

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Potomac State College volleyball team won’t have to travel far for its first NJCAA Division II National Tournament, but the Catamounts didn’t get a hometown discount after drawing the nationally ranked Owens (Ohio) Express in the opening round today, 11 a.m., at the Charleston Civic Center.

Owens has almost 40 wins and rolled into the postseason ranked No. 2 in all of Division II. The Cats enter today’s tournament seeded 15th at 22-6 and riding a three-game winning streak. PSC earned the top seed in the Region XX Tournament and after a first-round bye, downed Garrett in three sets in the semifinals and swept Hagerstown in the finals, 25-20, 25-22 and 25-22.

PSC Volleyball
Potomac State open the NJCAA Tournament in Charleston, WV

A Potomac State win would give it a second round game tonight at 5:30 against the winner of seventh-seed Johnson County (Kansas)/10th-seeded Sauk Valley (Illinois). A PSC loss would make its next game Friday at 10 a.m. against the Johnson/Sauk Valley loser.

The National Championship is a double-elimination tournament, but the teams in the losers’ bracket can finish no higher than third. The title game not only determines the champion, but the runner-up.

Having played almost 20 fewer matches than many teams in the country, no Catamount player is on the national leaderboard. Shayla Hillian, however, leads the team in points with 289.5, kills with 194 and blocks with 22, and is second in aces with 48. Makaleigh Roberts has a team-high 317 digs, and Bailey Godlove has run away with the team lead in assists with 700.

Following Hillian’s 289.5 points is Sarah Lowery with 219, Ericka Gordon with 200 and Anya Murray with 197.5. Brittney Hozdic has 190 points and Godlove has scored 127.5.

Murray was named the Region XX Tournament MVP, while Hozdic and Hillian were named to the All-Tournament team.

Second-seeded Owens finished the regular season 33-4, and has since added five victories to sit at 38-4. They haven’t lost since they were swept by Wallace State (Alabama) on Oct. 7. Wallace State is playing in the Division I Tournament today in Casper, Wyoming, and finished the regular season at 38-2. Owens other three losses were to Parkland (Illinois), the No. 1 team in Division II, Indian Hills (Iowa) and Vincennes (Indiana). Indians Hills is the sixth-ranked team in Division I, while Wallace State isn’t ranked, but is receiving votes. Vincennes is also a Division I team.

Tyanna Smith cracked the Top 10 in the country in hitting percentage, currently 7th at .414., and blocks per set, now 8th with 1.42. Christine Tylutki is 23rd in the country with a .344, and Ashley Pleiman 29th with a .329. Brooke Gyori ranks 15th in the country with 647 digs.

As a team, the Express is third in the nation in hitting percentage at .310, sixth in assists (1,563), seventh in points (2,355), eighth in kills (1,686) and 14th in the nation in aces (271).

Potomac State is fifth in hitting percentage at .287.

Game can be streamed live here: