Lady Cougars advance to NAIA National Tournament
After a 3-1 win over Indiana Wesleyan University, MVNU Lady Cougars are the Crossroads League Champions. They will advance to the NAIA National Championship Opening Round this Saturday against Ashford University.
Losing 25-19 in the first set, MVNU came out ready to fight for the second. With a 25-21 victory both teams were tied 1-1 in the championship match. After game three ended 28-26 in MVNU’s favor, set four was a battle for both teams. The lead shifted between the two but after a roller coaster ending MVNU came out on top 28-26.
“I just can’t believe it! I don't think it has set in” said sophomore Kelsey Bryte. “When we got the [final] point I thought I was going to cry or pee my pants or something! I am so proud of our team and how far we have come.”
“I’m just so pumped right now!” said junior Annelise Rohrer. “But most of all, I’m blessed, we all are, that God would be so gracious to lead us all here to play for Him together.”
According to team leader and lone senior Marlowe Beatty the key to clinching the Crossroads League Tournament Championship was staying calm and focused.
“I was trying to keep everyone calm” said Beatty following the game. “You get really nervous and the huge crowd gets to your head and you start worrying about the mistakes you make. But I wanted everyone to realize it is okay to make mistakes; we will just get the next one. I think we did a god job staying calm.”
The game was the final event of homecoming weekend, so almost 2,000 fans filled the arena. MVNU students, alumni and guests erupted with applause, cheers, and chants to support the Lady Cougars at every kill and dig.
“What an atmosphere,” said Coach Swanson in his post-game interview with Jacob Chrysler of WNZR.tv. “The fans were unbelievable, our team was unbelievable. It's a privilege to be such an awesome team.
Junior Carolyn Beatty was amazed at the fans that came out to support the team.
“It means more to us than you know” said Beatty in an interview with Chrysler. “[During the game] I saw everyone standing and I wanted to cry! Seeing everyone running out on the court [after the game] just as excited as we were meant so much!”
Following the match, Crossroads League Assistant Commissioner Nathan Bellman distributed regular season awards. Players are awarded based on votes from the head coaches of the Crossroads League member schools.
Coach Paul Swanson (32nd season at MVNU) received 2015 Coach of the Year. Senior Marlowe Beatty was awarded 2015 Crossroads League Libero of the Year. Junior Annelise Rohrer was voted 2015 Crossroads League Player of the Year. Freshman Kristen Osborn received 2015 Crossroads League Freshman of the Year.
First Team All League Honors were handed out to Marlowe Beatty, Kristen Osborne, and Annelise Rohrer.
Indiana Wesleyan University’s Ashlen Buck, Remmy Bucknor, and Morgan Miller also received First Team All League Honors.
“Every player, one-through-four team, has contributed so much to this team” said Coach Swanson to Chrysler. “I couldn’t be more proud of who they are as people, how they work in practice, and how they compete in games.”
The Lady Cougars are looking ahead to the NAIA National Tournament Opening Round at Ariel Arena this weekend. MVNU will host Ashford University on Saturday, November 21.
“Going into tournaments is a huge blessing and we have all worked hard to get where we are” said Rohrer. “The competition at nationals is going to be tough. But anything is possible as we saw here tonight. It doesn't even matter who we are playing, as long as we take it one point at a time.”
To watch the final scoring run click here.
The post game interviews with Coach Swanson, Marlowe Beatty, Carolyn Beatty, and Kelsey Bryte can be found here.
To read the official MVNU Athletic recap click here.
The full game courtesy of WNZR.tv is online here.