Despite a No. 2 seed and a No. 20 national ranking the Washburn Lady Blues volleyball team’s postseason came to a sudden and unexpected end last Thursday when they were swept by the No. 7 seed West Florida Argonauts in the first round of the NCAA South Central Regional played in Kirksville, Mo. The Lady Blues fell 25-30, 27-30, 25-30. The Argonauts, who entered the contest with a 19-14 record, defeated the Lady Blues 3-1 when they matched up last month in the Henderson State Regional Crossover tournament in Arkansas.
Tessa Jones, junior outside hitter, led the way for the Lady Blues with 19 kills and a .415 attack percentage. Erica Cowhick, junior libero, broke the Washburn school career record for digs with her first dig of the night, giving her 1,628 for her career. She had 15 digs in the game. Cowhick ended the season with 901 digs, a Washburn and MIAA single season record. For the Argonauts, Naiara Fernandes had 26 kills and Marcela Cunha contributed 41 assists.
The Lady Blues return nearly every starter for next season including top players Jones and Cowhick. The Lady Blues roster will also be bolstered next season by the return of junior Monica Miesner, a 2005 second team All-American. Miesner took a medical red shirt missing the entire season with an elbow injury. Chris Herron, Washburn head coach, will also look to address depth issues as additional players are expected to be added through recruiting during the offseason.