Cobras are ready for the rematch

Cobras are ready for the rematch

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Parkland volleyball will have waited exactly 365 days for its chance to exact some revenge against Coffeyville.

The wait ends today.

The second-seeded Cobras — who advanced to today's NJCAA Division II championship match against the Red Ravens in Charleston, W.Va. — picked up their third sweep in as many matches at the national tournament with a 25-15, 25-16 and 25-11 victory over third-seeded Johnson County during Friday's semifinals.

Coffeyville snapped Parkland's streak of two consecutive national championships last season. The Kansas-based junior college outlasted the Cobras in the national semifinals in 2017, winning in five sets.

The Cobras (56-2), who enter today's 4:30 p.m. title match against the top-seeded and defending champion Red Ravens (39-3) on a 20-match winning streak, now seek their third national title in four seasons under head coach Cliff Hastings.

"We have been looking forward to this game for a long time," Hastings said. "They are ready. They are focused. We're just locked in right now, and that's a good thing at this point in the season."

Ryleigh Warfel led Parkland for a third straight match in kills, as the Tri-Valley product hammered down 17 of them on Friday, and the Cobras avenged a loss earlier this season to the Cavaliers (29-8), who defeated Hastings' team 3-1 in Kirkwood, Iowa, on Sept. 7.

Parkland set the tone in the first set, starting on a 6-0 run using stellar service points from Maggie Sorenson and three kills from Warfel. From there, the Cobras never allowed Johnson County to move any closer than nine points in the opening set and didn't trail the entire match.

"The girls were emotionally ready," Hastings said. "They were having fun. (Johnson County), looked tentative, nervous.

"We changed up the offense after what happened in the loss against them earlier this season. I don't think they were ready for it. Ryleigh got an immediate kill, and we served so aggressively. That was a big part of the match."

Sorenson and company displayed the kind of aggressive service game that Hastings said will be key today against the Red Ravens.

Coffeyville — one of only two teams to beat the Cobras this season — largely dictated play, handing Parkland a 3-1 defeat in Boone, Iowa, on Oct. 6.

"Getting (Coffeyville) out of rhythm is going to be important," Hastings said. "They're such a good team when they're in system."

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