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Trailblazers Volleyball Ends Season with Several Players Ranking Among the NJCAA’s Best

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Article by: Jan Dona,(618)468-3280, jdona@lc.edu

GODFREY – The Trailblazers women’s volleyball team finished its season with an 18-17 record and several players earning individual honors.

Additionally, Head Coach Johnna Kinney was selected as the National Junior College Athletic Association’s (NJCAA) assistant women’s regional director for Region 24. She will represent the entire region’s interests at the national level.

Although the Trailblazers finished their season Nov. 1 with a 3-0 (21-25, 18-25, 17,25) loss to Illinois Central College in the Region 24 tournament, the team has a lot to be proud of.

“The team improved as the season progressed,” Kinney said. “This was encouraging because they were a young team with only four sophomores. The sophomores were strong leaders on and off the court. The team finished strong with five wins in a row.”

Among the players receiving honors this season was middle blocker Bailey Jarman, of Benld, Illinois, who was named to the Mid-West Athletic Conference (MWAC) All-Conference First Team. Both Jarman and libero/defensive specialist Jenna Brown, of Mapleton, Illinois, earned placement on the All-Region 24 Second Team.

Out of 131 total NJCAA Division II teams, the Trailblazers ranked first in digs, ninth in blocks, 25th in assists and 28th in kills. Out of 1,400 NJCAA Division II players, Brown ranked third and Jarman ranked 20th in digs per set; Brown ranked first, Jarman ranked 29th and outside/right side hitter Grace Stephens, of Golden Eagle, Illinois, ranked 44th in total digs; setter/right side hitter Allie Jackson of Columbia, Illinois, ranked 11th in assists/sets.

“Jenna Brown led the nation in total digs,” Kinney said. “She was the team spark plug. Bailey Jarman was the hitter who got the ball in tight situations. She handled and welcomed the pressure of getting the big kill or block.”

Outside hitter/defensive specialist Savanna Stevens, of Freeburg, Illinois, played back-to-back matches with no hitting errors – an accomplishment Kinney has not seen in her 20-year career. On Oct. 27, Stevens killed 13 of 26 against Frontier, then killed 14 of 27 Oct. 28 against Rend Lake.

Not only were the women successful on the court, but also in the classroom.

“I’m proud to say the team has a cumulative GPA of 3.44 for the fall semester,” said Kinney, noting that two players maintained 4.0 averages and another is enrolled in the L&C Honors College.

The team received recognition for their winning season and academic achievement during the Nov. 14 meeting of the Lewis and Clark Board of Trustees.

For more on Trailblazers Volleyball, visit www.lc.edu/athletics/womens/volleyball, or contact Kinney at (618) 468-6250 or jdkinney@lc.edu.