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Cougars earn highest-ever national ranking in NAIA volleyball

Athletics Feb 4, 2021
Three female volleyball players celebrate
Three female volleyball players celebrate

KOKOMO, Ind. — Indiana University Kokomo enters its first-ever spring season ranked 21st in the NAIA — the team’s first-ever appearance on the Top 25 list.

Coach Heather Hayes said the team has been building towards a national rank since the program started 10 years ago.

“This season presented many challenges, and in spite of that, our team never lost sight of its goals,” she said. “We are fortunate to have such well-rounded and talented young women in our program. I consider this ranking to be a reflection of the hard work and dedication of both our current and former players. I am thrilled for our program.”

The Cougars, who finished the fall season as River States Conference (RSC) season and tournament champions, are currently the only conference team in the Top 25.

Athletic Director Greg Cooper congratulated the team on its success.

“It’s the culmination of years of work that have led them to getting this respect nationally, and a really good fall season that earned them their place in the top 25,” he said. “I couldn’t be happier for their success on the court and in the classroom.”

Players recently returned to campus to prepare for a challenging non-conference spring season, in preparation for the national tournament, moved from November to April because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The team clinched its sixth consecutive bid by winning the regular-season conference title and the conference tournament championship. The team went 18-0 in the fall, only dropping three sets during this time, and won its third-straight conference tournament.

The Cougars take on third-ranked Indiana Wesleyan University February 27  at the Student Activities and Events Center on campus.

Education is KEY at Indiana University Kokomo.

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