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Will third time be the charm for Parkland Volleyball?
 November 16, 2012

By: Rod Lovett (Parkland College Athletic Director)

Parkland is making their third trip into the Final Four in the last five seasons but is trying to get over the semi-final hump for the first time since winning the national title in 1999. PC earned a trip into the semi-finals in 2008 where they lost 3-0 to eventual champion Kishwaukee. PC knocked off Region 24 rival ICC to take home 3rd place in Coach Mike Trame's final season. In 2009, Coach Cliff Hastings first team dropped a heartbreaking 3-2 match to Cowley in the semi's, losing 15-13 in the deciding 5th set. PC would take care of Kishwaukee in the next match to finish 3rd once again.

All four teams in this year's final four are riding impressive winning streaks.  Defending champion and #1 seed Cowley (37-0) has won 60 straight matches, dating back to last season. The Tigers last loss was on Sept. 20, 2011. Included in that streak was a 3-2 win over Parkland earlier this season. The Cobras actually led 2-1 in the match before Cowley rallied for the victory.

Grand Rapids, the #2 seed, comes is with a record of (37-1) having won 28 straight matches. The Raiders lone lost was at Glendale CC in Arizona back on Sept. 7. In that streak GR defeated Owens twice by the scores of 3-1 and defeated PC (3-1) 25-13, 24-26, 25-20, and 29-27. Grand Rapids has never appeared in the title game.

#3 Parkland (44-7) has the most wins of any team in D-2 VB (44) and only Iowa Western (45) and Rock Valley (45 after winning NJCAA D-3 title) have more victories in all three levels of the NJCAA.  The Cobras have won 10 straight matches after seeing their 27 match winning streak stopped by ICC. After starting the season 4-5, PC has gone 40-2 since that time and owns 10 wins over teams participating at the national tournament.

Upstart Owens CC (37-9) is the Cinderella of the tournament as the host school has pulled off two consecutive upsets. The #12 seed upended #5 Kirkwood in the opening match and knocked out the other Iowa entry, #4 seed Iowa Central, in a come from behind 3-2 victory. The Express have won 11 straight matches and will have a strong contingent of fans cheering them on as they try to win their first title.  It will take two more upsets to achieve this goal as they will have to knock off the #1 seed Cowley and then beat either Grand Rapids or Parkland who have they have lost all three matches to this season.

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