Sandburg Volleyball’s Bid for Region Tourney 3-Peat Falls Short vs. McHenry


GRAYSLAKE, IL-The Carl Sandburg College volleyball team’s bid for a third straight trip to the NJCAA Division II Championship ended Sunday with a 25-15, 25-15, 25-15 loss to McHenry County in the championship match of the Region IV District B tournament.

After sweeping Oakton 25-8, 25-23, 25-8 earlier Sunday afternoon in the semifinals, the Chargers (33-12), ranked 18th in the country and seeded second in the tournament, were unable to click against the third-seeded Scots.

Sandburg finishes the season with a school-record 33 victories, a second straight Arrowhead Conference title and in the final NJCAA rankings for the first time in program history.

“We didn’t bring our ‘A’ game, and McHenry County played one of its best matches of the season,” Chargers coach Todd Winkler said. “It hurts to have it end the way it did, but sometimes you just have to tip your cap to the other team. They earned it.”

The Chargers jumped to an early 5-2 lead against McHenry County before the Scots used a 6-0 run to take a 9-6 advantage and never looked back. McHenry County never trailed in the second, racing to leads of 4-0 and 9-3.

The Chargers opened the third set with a kill from Peyton Bowman (Sciota, Ill./West Prairie), but the Scots took the next five points and opened up a 12-4 advantage. Sandburg got within 16-14 later in the set before McHenry County rattled off four points in a row to help set up the sweep.

The Chargers, who came into the day ninth in the country in hitting percentage at .260, put up just a .136 mark against the Scots. Sophomore Tearaney Eads (Lincoln, Ill./Lincoln) tallied eight kills to lead Sandburg in the title match, and Bowman added seven.

Sophomore setter Cora Vyhnanek (Colchester, Ill./West Prairie) had 16 assists, and sophomore outside hitter Mallory Flynn (Alexis, Ill./United) recorded three blocks against McHenry County.

The Chargers had little trouble dispatching Oakton in their first match of the day as they hit .337 as a team, led by Bowman’s 15 kills on 24 attempts. Bowman also had 4½ blocks against the Owls. Vyhnanek — who was voted to the all-tournament team with Bowman — had 32 assists, and sophomore libero Emily Bloomer (Burlington, Iowa/Burlington) picked up 29 digs. Vyhnanek, Eads and Bloomer also served two aces. 

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