Volleyball

BY MIKE MONTFORT -- Sophomore outside hitter Jordan Lockwood’s rise at Navarro during the fall has been something to behold. So, too, is her now Christmas-like collection of post-season awards that’s grown by two since Thursday with prestigious Player Of The Year Awards from The NJCAA and The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA). Four months and 31 matches after transferring from The University of Houston and enrolling at Navarro, Lockwood claimed the prized POY possessions for her dream season, and more honors for the unbeaten national championship team that swept 22 of its opponents and lost only 11 games. Since November 3, Lockwood’s resume already has been reinforced greatly by First-Team All-American designations by the NJCAA and by the AVCA, plus an NJCAA Championship, Tournament Most Valuable Player and Region XIV Conference Player Of The Year honors. Her full-to-overflowing, red Navarro bag almost exceeds weight-load limitations on Santa’s sleigh. Lockwood’s play this season merited each award, underscoring the talent, meteoric rise and soaring value of a multi-faceted player. Lockwood, who hit at least .300 in 13 matches, led coach Andy Cavins’ Bulldogs in kills (397), attacks (963) and points (467.5), finished second in block-solos (20), third in block-assists (61) and fourth in digs (229). She ranked...

By MIKE MONTFORT Navarro College volleyball coach Andy Cavins found a perfect situation here. That was validated again Friday when Cavins was selected as  The 2019 Tachikara Division I Coach Of The Year after leading unbeaten, top-ranked and top-seeded Navarro to its first NJCAA national championship at The Sports Arena in Hutchinson, Ks., in November. Friday’s honor capped a special 31-win season for Cavins, who also earned The Heidi Cartisser Coach Of The Tournament award on the national stage at Hutchinson, and another American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Two-Year College Southwest Region Coach Of The Year. Cavins was hired in February to replace NJCAA Hall of Fame Coach Ronda Shirley, who became head coach at The University of South Carolina Upstate in Spartanburg, SC. Cavins inherited four sophomores returning from a 38-7 Elite Eight finisher in 2018 and put together the NJCAA’s only undefeated team of 2019 – a powerful one that swept 22 opponents and dropped only 11 games all season. His Bulldogs became the first unbeaten D-I national champion since Blinn in 2011 (38-0). Cavins, the all-time winningest volleyball coach at Lindsey Wilson College in Columbia, Ky., is the first coach to lead a Navarro athletic program to an undefeated campaign during a first...

BY MIKE MONTFORT HUTCHINSON, Ks. -- They did it. In the final match of the season and the final match of the decade, Navarro Volleyball played the match of its lifetime, completed an undefeated season and won the 2019 NJCAA Division I Championship in dramatic style. Navarro won an intense battle from Seward, 3-2, Saturday night at The Sports Center.  Scores in the fourth extended match between these two programs since 2016 were exhausting counts of 32-30. 25-19. 20-25, 25-27. 19-17. Understated, the 239-point marathon match lived up to championship billing.  It was that, and then some between two punching heavyweight contenders. While words like 'unbeaten,' 'top-seeded' and 'top-ranked' still apply for coach Andy Cavins' Bulldogs, the proper phrase that best fits now is 'national champions'. In a season full of program 'firsts,' Cavins became the first coach to guide a Navarro team to an undefeated NJCAA Championship in his first year at the helm.  He now has coached two unbeatens to national titles in three seasons.  His 2017 team at Lindsey Wilson College in Columbia, Ky., went 35-0 and won the NAIA Championship. After Saturday's win, Cavins was named recipient of "The Heidi Cartisser Coach Of The Tournament" award -- named in the memory of the...

By MIKE MONTFORT HUTCHINSON, Ks. -- Navarro advances to the NJCAA D-I Volleyball Tournament Championship to face third-seeded, third-ranked Seward County, Ks., Saturday night. NJCAA Division I Volleyball will crown a first-time national champion Saturday night at The Sports Center. Coach Andy Cavins' Bulldogs disposed of fifth-seeded Polk State, 3-0, in one Friday semifinal, while Seward County's Saints took a 3-2 win over second-seeded Miami Dade Community College. Navarro hit .314 in its match against Polk to gain its 30th victory and 22nd sweep of the season.  While sweeping a Florida team for the second consecutive day, sophomore Deja Arnold had a team-high 14 kills and Jordan Lockwood added 12 more.  Sophomore setter emily Witt's 37 assist, 13-dig game marked her 13th double-double of the season and 27th of her career. Here's a brief preview of Saturday's championship match: ______ NJCAA VOLLEYBALL CHAMPIONSHIP 6:30 pm Saturday, November 23 The Sports Arena | Hutchinson, Ks. (3) SEWARD COUNTY, Ks. (31-2) v. (1) NAVARRO (30-0) COACHES: SCC- Tony Trifonov. NC – Andy Cavins REGIONS: Seward County, from Region VI, was the last qualifier for the 14-team field before two at-large selections were added. The Saints are appearing in the tournament for the third time in four years and ninth overall. The Plains District Champions...

By MIKE MONTFORT HUTCHINSON, Ks -- Top-seeded Navarro advanced Thursday to its first-ever NJCAA Volleyball Tournament Semifinal. Coach Andy Cavins' unbeaten, top-ranked Bulldogs (29-0) will play fifth-seeded Polk State, Fl., (24-4) at 6:30 pm Friday in volleyball's version of The Final Four.  Friday's other semifinal match pits No. 2 seed Miami Dade (28-2) against third-seeded Seward County, Ks., (30-2). Live streaming of the matches is available at NJCAA.TV on a pay-per-view basis. Navarro gained its berth Thursday by winning its opening-round match over No. 16 Monroe College, 3-1 and following up with a convincing, dominating sweep of No. 8 Hillsborough CC, for its 21st 3-0 victory of the season. Against Hillsborough, the Bulldogs hit .349 and made only two errors during the match's first two games.  After a 25-21 first-game win, NC rattled off leads of 14-0 and 20-1 against the Hawks.  Region XIV Player of the Year Jordan Lockwood had a team-high 12 kills, Johanna Montero (9) and Aleksandra Rojecka (7) to pace NC's 38 kills and 86 attacks. Region XIV Tournament MVP Emily Witt made a team-high 27 assists with six digs.  Libero Carla Boudal had a team-high 15 digs, four assists and two service aces. Lockwood, Rojecka, Monica Wood and Deja Arnold combined for...