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MAC Volleyball Team Shatters Records, Finishes 6th at National Tournament
11/21/2017 1:00:00 AM
By: Mike Overman, Athletic Director

The Mineral Area College volleyball team recently capped off their record-breaking season with a 6th-place finish at the NJCAA D1 National Volleyball Tournament in Hutchinson, Kansas.

The Lady Cardinals entered the tournament undefeated, ranked #8 in the last regular season poll, and received a #6 seed for the tournament, none of which had never been done by a MAC volleyball team. After defeating Laramie County Community College in the tournament’s opening round, the team fell to College of Southern Idaho in the quarterfinal round. Round two’s loss to College of Southern Idaho was the first loss of the season for the Lady Cardinals. MAC rebounded from round two’s loss in a big way, defeating #2 seed Iowa Western Community College in a thrilling five-set victory. In the 5th-place match on the tournament’s final day, the Lady Cardinals came up just short against Polk State College. The 6th-place finish is the best finish in Mineral Area College history for any sport.

Among the highlights for the 2017 volleyball season were a Region XVI Championship, MCCAC Championship, District K Championship, and a 36-2 final record. The Lady Cardinals started the season hot, and continued to dominate their opponents throughout the entire regular season. MAC entered the national tournament undefeated, having lost only five sets the entire year. A regular season clean sweep of region and conference teams was also a first for the program.

Tim Copeland was named Region XVI Coach of the Year and District K Coach of the Year following the season. Coach Copeland has now led the Lady Cardinals to three regional titles, three district titles, two conference titles and three national tournament appearances. He has an overall record of 314-127 as the MAC head volleyball coach.

Individual honors from the 2017 season include All-Region and All-Conference recognition for Cailey Bracken, Pam Zuluaga, and Jane Kickham. Anica Popladic was also named to the All-Conference team. A season ago, Bracken became the first MAC volleyball player to be named a NJCAA All-American. Following this year’s tournament, she was named to the All-Tournament team, which is also a first for the program.

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