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By MIKE MONTFORT       (with Links)    -- HUTCHINSON, Ks. – Fourth-seeded Navarro Volleyball (37-4) makes its NJCAA Tournament debut Thursday in a 3 pm match at The Sports Arena against 13th-seeded Northeastern Junior College (26-5) of Sterling, Col. Coach Ronda Shirley’s Region XIV runner-up Bulldogs enter the three-day, 16-team tournament with the most wins of any qualifier this season. Shirley, a former coach at Hutchinson CC and Tyler, is directing a team from a third program into the national tournament for the ninth time since 2004. After 14 consecutive runner-up finishes during Western Nebraska’s 19-year regional championship reign, the Northeastern Plainswomen captured the Region IX Tournament in Cheyenne, Wy., last week and bring a five-match winning streak into Hutch. That’s not a typo. And, it’s not just a dream for NJC. The 13-team Region IX volleyball league that’s currently split into zones has boiled down -- for the better part of almost two decades -- to Western Nebraska’s Cougars, 1, and Northeastern’s Plainswomen, 2. Jessica Squiers, a former NJC player (2006-07) now in her seventh season as coach, knows her Plainswomen aren’t bridesmaids this season. Much like they have battled back from injuries, they battled from a two-game deficit to beat North...

FOLEY, Al. -- Monday's Pool C opener between third-seeded Iowa Western and 10th-seeded Paradise Valley was scoreless for 65 minutes. Paradise Valley's Karina Lopez Martinez scored in the 66th minute, and what followed was a five-minute flurry of four unassisted goals by Iowa Western as the Reivers rallied for a resounding 5-1 NJCAA D-I Soccer Tournament victory at The Sports Complex. Coach Adam Sanchez' Reivers (17-2-0) won their 15th straight match and will take Tuesday off to watch sixth-seeded Navarro battle PVCC in another 3 pm Pool C match.  Pool C play closes at 3 pm Wednesday after the Reivers face coach Alicia Wilson's Bulldogs, and tournament semifinalists are determined. Iowa Western, participating in its ninth NJCAA tournament and sixth in seven years, reacted quickly to Martinez' goal -- her 13th of the season. Paola Ochoa, who had just substituted into the game, scored the equalizing goal at the 67-minute mark. Moments later in the 68th minute, Paige Moser connected for the go-ahead goal.  Freshman scoring leader Kauany Sousa drilled her 30th goal of the season at the 72-minute mark, and Ashley Overberg created a 4-1 Reiver lead. The Reivers' fifth unanswered goal came in the 81st minute from Alex Boss on a feed from...

FOLEY, Al.  -- The National Weather Service in Mobile issued a flash flood watch for part of southern Alabama and northwest Florida in advance of the NJCAA Women's Division I Soccer Tournament. The flash flood watch began at midnight Sunday and continues through Tuesday afternoon.  The NWS forecasts that the rain event may bring between two and four inches to the area. Matches in each of the four pools were scheduled to begin Monday.  Navarro's Pool C opponents, third-seeded Iowa Western and 10th-seeded Paradise Valley, were scheduled to square off. Navarro's matches Tuesday against Paradise Valley and Wednesday against Iowa Western now are scheduled to begin at 3 pm CST....

By MIKE PHILLIPS   /  Corsicana Sun    --- Here’s the good news at Navarro. It’s over. And here’s the better news: It’s just beginning. It would be difficult to find a team that has gone through so much pain, so much frustration and so much head-shaking, how-did-that-happen anguish as Navarro's women's soccer team, a group of talented and determined athletes who are finally getting a chance to play for the NJCAA national championship. The program has been denied a berth in the nationals for the last three seasons, and all three times the Bulldogs' season ended in bitter, close and controversial losses to Tyler in the playoffs. None was worse than last year when Tyler won the critical playoff showdown 1-0 by scoring on a handball goal that should have never counted. Tyler went on to win the national title. That's why when the Bulldogs play in the nationals next week in Foley, Alabama they won't be trying to win the school's first national soccer title. They're going to Alabama to win a title that felt belonged to them a year ago. “We're going with a chip on our shoulder,” said goalkeeper Maitane Bravo, who has ben one of the best goalkeepers in the nation the past two years....

By MIKE MONTFORT    --- Quarterback Parker McNeil's selection as league MVP highlights a list of 16 Navarro football players named to the 2018 All-Southwest Junior College Football Conference team chosen by the league's coaches. Coach Jim Gush's SWJCFC Semifinalist Bulldogs (6-4) placed five (5) on the first-team, seven (7) on the second unit and four (4) honorable mention selections. McNeil, whose 298.9 passing yards per game and 26 touchdowns ranked second statistically in the NJCAA, became the second Navarro player in as many seasons to earn a conference superlative award. Last year, Benjie Franklin was selected as the league's 'Defensive Player of the Year'. McNeil completed 62 percent of his passes (226-363-2989-26) as Navarro's starter.  His statistics rank second in completions and third in attempts, yardage and TD passes in a single season at Navarro. McNeil had an NC-record passing day of 552 yards against TVCC during the regular-season finale that helped to catapult the Bulldogs into the SWJCFC playoffs. Joining McNeil on the mythical all-conference first team were wide receiver Jared Wyatt, offensive lineman Josh Cooper, defensive lineman Trevon Mason, and defensive back Josh Morgan. Wyatt caught 57-970-9, and with Kaylon Geiger, created a 1-2 receiving tandem that caught 123-1917-14. Cooper was a top blocker...