Corban University fans filled the Psalm Performing Arts Center in Salem on Tuesday night to cheer on the women’s volleyball team as they battled to win their first-ever NAIA National Championship.
No. 4 ranked Corban (33-5) put up an incredible fight but saw its season come to a close, losing to No. 2 ranked University of Jamestown (37-2) in a grueling five-set match (21-25, 25-21, 27-25, 22-25 and 15-13) at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa.
Corban’s sophomore outside hitter Rylee Troutman was named Attacker of the Tournament with 21 kills and 33 digs, while senior outside hitter Avari Ridgway and freshman opposite hitter Makayla Roginski, as well as Troutman, were named All-Tournament Team members.
After dropping the first set 25-21, Corban quickly got over the championship jitters in the second set with the final three straight points working for the Warrior. A kill by Troutman would seal the 25-21 win in that set.
Corban led 24-21 well into the third set, but Jamestown flipped the script on a kill by Anna Holen to lead 25-24. However, back-to-back kills and a service ace from Kealani Ontai would give the Warriors the 27-25 win.
Jamestown came out looking slightly more polished while making more kills in the fourth and fifth set, while making only two attack errors in the fifth set compared to Corban’s six.
The final attack error Corban made earned Jamestown its first NAIA title in women’s volleyball.
Despite not winning a national title, Corban still celebrated a successful run with its most wins in a single season (33), highest-ever ranking (No. 3) in the NAIA Women’s Volleyball Top 25 Coaches’ Poll on Oct. 12, first tournament semifinals and championship match appearances.