Volleyball vaults to No. 3

Volleyball vaults to No. 3

CHARLOTTE, NC — Unbeaten Navarro volleyball ascended to the No. 3 ranking in the season’s first NJCAA regular-season poll, matching the program’s highest national rating.

Easier said, coach Andy Cavins’ Bulldogs are picking up right where coach Ronda Shirley’s 2018 Bulldogs finished.  After release of the final regular-season poll of 2018, NC’s third-ranked squad (34-3) qualified for the NJCAA Tournament and finished among the Elite Eight.

Cavins’ taller and deeper version carries a 5-0 record to the Big Country this weekend when they compete in the Wrangler/Ranger Roundup that begins Friday at Cisco and Ranger Colleges.

On Friday afternoon, Navarro draws a pair of NJCAA Division II opponents in unbeaten Cowley, Ks., (3-0), at 1 pm and Seminole State, Ok., (2-5), at 5 pm.

On Saturday, the ‘Dawgs face Region XIV foe Laredo (7-2) in an 11 am non-conference clash and then wrap up with a match against coach Susan Moore’s Cisco Lady Wranglers (6-3).

Other teams competing in the two-day classic include Garden City, Ks., (1-10), New Mexico JC (1-7) and Ranger (3-3).

The Bulldogs currently lead the NJCAA in kills per set (14.76), assists per set (13.16) and points per set (19.0).  Individually, sophomore frontliners Deja Arnold (.614) and Monica Wood (.578) rank 1-2 nationally in hitting percentage, while sophomore setter Emily Witt (11.76) ranks second in assists per set.

Arnold, now 15tth in solo blocks, ranks seventh in blocks per set (1.53).

The Bulldogs have played only one non-conference match at the Wolens Center — a 3-1 win over Division III Eastfield as Monica Wood and Julia Siuta had 18 kills, University of Houston transfer Jordan Russell added 14 and Arnold contributed 11.

Witt offered a personal-season high 56 assists and 17 digs as Navarro rolled to a 26-18, 25-11, 21-25, 25-13 victory over the Harvesters.