HANCEVILLE – Wallace State Community College's nationally-ranked volleyball resumed its stellar season Thursday, sweeping Northwest Shoals and Jeff Davis during a record-breaking sophomore night at Tom Drake Coliseum.
The 17th-ranked Lady Lions set a school record with their 42nd win of the season, handling both conference foes in three sets.
It was fitting for Wallace State (42-1) to accomplish the feat during sophomore night and in the regular-season home finale. The team's three sophomores are Jessica Wilburn of Gaston High School, Skylar Key of Curry and Kierra Outlin of John Carroll.
"It was a very special night (Thursday). These three players have meant as much to the program. They'll go down in the record books as sophomores on the team who set a school record for wins," said Wallace State coach Randy Daniel. "The things these three girls have accomplished in two years is amazing. They are all three leaders and all three have been All-Region and All-State players. They have done so much for us on and off the court. I'm proud of them."
Thursday's sweep has the program on the verge of more history. The Lady Lions have already clinched the school's third consecutive Alabama Community College Conference (ACCC) regular-season championship and stand only one win shy of navigating through the ACCC undefeated for the third year in a row. Wallace State plays at Southern Union next Tuesday.
Wallace State's sophomore trio was integral to the school's march to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Volleyball Championships last season for the first time since 2003.
"They're the reason we're close to going undefeated again and have another strong team," Daniel said.
All three had strong performances Thursday. Wilburn finished with 23 digs and three kills combined, Key contributed 17 kills, three blocks and two digs and Outlin added 13 kills.
Wallace State beat Northwest Shoals 25-17, 25-18, 25-17 and Jeff Davis 25-13, 25-11, 25-12.
Freshman Stephanie Andrews had 61 assists, 11 digs and five aces in the two matches, Amelia Moore contributed 11 kills, seven digs, four aces and two blocks, Callie Miller had 11 digs and two aces and Lesley Bemis added 10 kills.
Taulise Dunklin had 13 kills, nine digs, four aces and two blocks vs. Northwest Shoals, while Alysha Smith had four kills, two digs and a block vs. Jeff Davis.
Wallace State hosts a two-day tournament beginning Friday at Tom Drake Coliseum. The Lady Lions play Cape Fear (N.C.) Community College at 10 a.m. and follow with matches at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. vs. Gulf Coast Community College and Northwest Shoals respectively.
Three more matches are scheduled for Saturday.
For more information about Wallace State athletics, visit wallacestate.edu.