The National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) has released its list of All-Americans for the 2019 fall sports season, and ten student-athletes representing NJCAA Region IV were recognized. The group includes six All-Americans in volleyball, three in men's soccer, and one in women's soccer. Two student-athletes were named first team, while six received second team and two were honorable mention. Harper College and Madison College each boast a pair of NJCAA All-Americans to lead all Region IV schools.
A trio of teams representing Region IV completed their 2019 seasons by competing in their respective NJCAA Volleyball Championship Tournament. Harper College returned to the NJCAA Division III Volleyball Championships in Rochester, Minnesota for the third time in four years and finished sixth overall. At the NJCAA Division II Volleyball Championships in Charleston, West Virginia, McHenry County College played to a seventh place finish, while Waubonsee Community College went winless in two matches.
After standout freshman seasons in 2018, Abbi Fletcher of Moraine Valley Community College and Peyton Bowman of Carl Sandburg College each avoided the dreaded "sophomore slump" en route to earning 2019 Region IV Division II District A & B Player of the Year honors, respectively. Bowman, a 6'3" middle blocker from Sciota, Illinois, repeats as the top vote-getter in District B after leading the nation 639 kills on the season and a .523 attack percentage, while also ranking in the top ten for kills per set at 4.29 and total blocks with 152. Bowman added 50 aces and 97 digs to her stellar resume. Fletcher, a 5'7" outside hitter from Oak Lawn, Illinois, flipped spots with teammate Noell Knezz for first and second in the voting after she posted 302 kills and 2.90 kills per set, 50 aces, 427 digs, and 32 blocks. Bowman, a NJCAA All-American last fall, and Fletcher will be joined in receiving the region's NJCAA All-Americ nominations by Fletcher's teammates Noell and Bri Knezz, Sydney Fedderly of Waubonsee Community College, and Aleah Wright of Sauk Valley Community College. Steve Kish of Waubonsee Community College and Kyle McCall of McHenry County College were named Region IV Coaches of the Year.
Exceptional play by several teams and players made voting extremely tight, but in the end Harper College freshman Rachel Kandefer was the top vote-getter on the 2019 Division III Women's Volleyball All-Region IV Team and made her the Region IV Player of the Year. The 6'1" middle hitter from Elk Grove Village, Illinois, was second on the Hawks with 309 kills, but was the leader in attack percentage in .309 and defensively with 103 blocks, which ranked tenth nationally. She also posted 23 aces and 128 digs. Kandefer, along with Madison College's Cathleen Flannery, Rock Valley College's Kara Cisewski, and Joliet Junior College's Emma Sweeney, were additionally recognized as the region's NJCAA All-America nomineees. By leading the Hawks to their third Region IV title in four years, Bob Vilsoet was named Region IV Coach of the Year.
ROCKFORD, ILL. - Harper College dominated the competition and earned some revenge from 2018 as they re-claimed their spot atop the region with 3-0 defeat of Rock Valley College to win the 2019 Region IV Division III Women's Volleyball Championship. The 25-12, 25-20, 25-14 victory over the #3-seeded Golden Eagles on their home floor reverses the result from a year prior when RVC won in three over Harper College in Palatine, Illinois. The top-seeded Hawks have now won three of the last four Region IV titles.
GRAYSLAKE, ILL. - A pair of teams updated their championship droughts by claiming their halves of the Region IV Division II Women's Volleyball Championships on Sunday at the College of Lake County. Waubonsee Community College earned their second Region IV title with a 3-1 victory over Sauk Valley Community College in the District A bracket, while McHenry County College needed just three sets to get past defending champion Carl Sandburg College in the District B bracket. (The semifinalists from the District A & B brackets were re-seeded for the championship matches. The two winners will earn automatic bids to the NJCAA Division II National Tournament.)
Carl Sanburg College's Peyton Bowman double-dipped on national weekly awards after it was announced Wednesday she had been named a national player of the week by two separate organizations. The National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) selected Bowman as the Division II Women's Volleyball Offensive Player of the Week for September 30-October 6 (Week 6), while the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) tabbed her the Sports Imports/AVCA Two Year College Player of Week for October 9. The NJCAA honor is the first this season and second of Bowman career's after garnering similar recognition following the opening week of play in 2018 (read here). It is also the first such honor for the Chargers this season.
The National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) has selected Joliet Junior College's Emma Sweeney as the Tachikara Division III Women's Volleyball Defensive Player of the Week for September 30-October 6 (Week 6). The award is the first such honor for Sweeney, and the first this season for the Wolves.
The National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) has named Harper College's Jules Carusiello as the Division III Women's Volleyball Defensive Player of the Week for September 16-22 (Week 4). The award is the first such honor for Carusiello, and the first this season for the Hawks.
The National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) has named Moraine Valley Community College's Noelle Knezz as the Division II Women's Volleyball Offensive Player of the Week for September 9-15 (Week 3). The award is the first such honor for Knezz, and the first this year for the Cyclones.