Sandburg Volleyball Clinches Region IV Title, Punches Ticket to NJCAA National Tourney for 3rd Time in 4 Seasons

  Aaron Frey
  Friday, April 2, 2021 9:14 PM

River Grove, IL

For the third time in four seasons, the Carl Sandburg College volleyball team is headed to nationals.

The Chargers punched their ticket to the NJCAA Division II National Championships with a 22-25, 25-14, 25-23, 26-24 victory over Triton on Friday in the championship match of the Region IV District B tournament. Sandburg (10-8), the No. 4 seed in the tournament, advances to the national tournament April 13-15 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

The Chargers shrugged off a first-set loss and won behind a stellar all-around performance from All-Region selection Carley Reeves-Eakins (Branson, Mo./Reeds Spring), who led Sandburg with 19 kills and four aces, tied Gracie Rademaker (Green Valley, Ill./Midwest Central) for the team lead with three blocks and added 12 digs.

Setter Carmyn Baldwin (Lewistown, Ill./Lewistown) delivered 37 assists and 18 digs, and Jerzi Johnson (Monmouth, Ill./United) and Annie McKim (Yates City, Ill./homeschooled) each had seven kills for the Chargers. Libero Kelsey Hobson (Bartonville, Ill./Limestone) picked up a team-best 21 digs.

Third-seeded Triton (10-5) used an 8-0 run to rally from a 17-12 deficit to take the first set before the Chargers dominated the second to even the match.

Tied at 22 in the third, a Trojans service error gave Sandburg the lead, and Baldwin followed with a kill on a dump to set up set point. After a Triton kill, Reeves-Eakins put down a kill of her own to put the Chargers ahead two sets to one.

A Megan Crome (Marshall, Ill./Marshall) kill capped a 5-0 Sandburg run on Rademaker’s serve for a 20-15 Chargers lead, but the Trojans fought back to even the set at 22, 23 and 24. Baldwin fed Reeves-Eakins for a kill to set up Sandburg’s second championship point before McKim and Crome made a combo block to clinch the Chargers’ third region title since 2017.


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Aaron Frey