Red Hawks fall in tournament opener against Mystics

Red Hawks fall in tournament opener against Mystics

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The fifth-seeded Catawba Valley Community College volleyball program dropped a difficult opening match at the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) tournament on Thursday afternoon against Bismarck State.

The Red Hawks (33-5) were held in check on offense by a stout defensive effort from the Mystics, falling in five sets at the Charleston Civic Center.

Set scores were 21-25, 25-14, 18-25, 25-16 and 15-11.

Freshman outside Aasia McNeill powered CVCC with a career-high 15 kills, and she added 15 digs on offense. Region 10 Player of the Year Emma Clark made her return to the court following an ankle injury, recorded 11 kills and six blocks.

The Mystics (30-8) were relentless on defense, recording 93 digs — the most of any Red Hawk opponent this season — and Bismarck also limited Catawba Valley to a .106 hitting percentage, which is the third lowest in a game by CVCC this fall.

Bismarck State's win against Catawba Valley was its first of two upsets on Friday. The Mystics also defeated fourth-seeded Fort Scott 3-1 in the tournament's semifinals.

The Red Hawks (33-5) now enter consolation play, where they will face 13th-seeded Waubonsee Community College on Friday at noon. The winner of that contest advances to play the winner of No. 9 Kirkwood and No. 16 Mercyhurst North East at 4:30 p.m. Friday, while the loser is eliminated.