By Jonathan Barker
For the second time in the span of three weeks TJC volleyball falls to Blinn, only this time it was for a much more valuable prize. The Apaches entered the NJCAA tournament with a 31-4 record and #2 overall in the nation, and a #2 seed in the tournament.
The tournament started off about as well as it could for TJC as they dominated the first two games, only losing one set, but the Apaches were in a dog fight for the third game versus Salt Lake Community College edging them out in the fifth and final set, which set up a showdown with Region XIV rival, and the only team the Apaches had lost to all year, Blinn.
The first two sets were just as it was billed up to be, with both teams going back and forth with Blinn winning the first set and the Apaches winning the second, but after that Blinn swept the next two sets to take the NJCAA national championship.
“I think the girls fought hard,” said Head Volleyball Coach Rhonda Shirley “I don’t want the focus to be on what we didn’t obtain, but what we accomplished.”
What’s next for the Apaches, is gearing up for next season with a fresh bunch faces and returning sophomores.
“I think the experience definitely helps them, if we’re lucky enough to get there (national tournament) next season I think they’re going to have that feeling of unfinished business,” Shirley said.
Unfinished business is right, with all of the Apaches losses this year coming at the hands of Blinn. After a strong season for a team that nobody thought would be as good as last year’s, the Apaches will return even stronger next season. Thy sky is the limit.