Columbia College men's soccer team makes history, women's volleyball team advances to NAIA tournament for 16th straight season
The Columbia Cougar soccer team made history on Nov. 21 by being the first Cougar soccer squad to win an NAIA National Tournament game, trouncing Midland Lutheran (Neb.) College 3-0 at home in the NAIA soccer tournament opening round. The Cougars dominated the Warriors, shooting 31 times to the Warriors’ eight.
The Cougars' record improved to 16-4-1.
The Cougars then traveled to Fresno, Calif., for the second round of the tournament, taking on the University of Rio Grande (Ohio) Red Storm Nov. 30.
The Red Storm took a 1-0 lead at the half and increased their lead to 2-0 in the 77th minute. Cougar senior Jordan Cox put Columbia on the board just 23 seconds after the Red Storm scored. Columbia almost equaled up the score with 18 seconds remaining when Yudai Yamaguchi found the back of the net, but unfortunately for the Cougars, the goal was waved off to an offside call. Time expired before they were able to score again.
With the 16 wins, Cougar head coach John Klein has won more games than any other Columbia soccer coach in history, at 123. Klein’s 10 year record at Columbia now sits at 123-64-14.
The perennial NAIA contender Columbia College volleyball team will be playing successive tournament games Dec. 1, 2 and 3 in Sioux City, Iowa.
On Dec. 1, the No. 7 seed Cougars, with a 37-2 record, took on No. 19 Lee (Tenn.) University Lady Flames. Lee has a 33-5 record.
The Cougars did not get off to the national tournament start that they were looking for, falling to Lee 3-0. This loss marks the first time the Cougars have been swept all season, as their two losses in the regular season came on 3-2 decisions.
The second day was the charm, however, as the Cougars came from behind to defeat the 27-5 Lady Chaps from Lubbock Christian (Texas) University 3-1. The Cougars defeated Lubbock Christian by scores of 28-30, 25-23, 25-17 and 25-22.
The Cougars close out pool play on Dec. 3 at 3:15 p.m. when they face sixth-seeded Georgetown (Ky.) College. Columbia needs to win this match-up to advance to bracket play on Friday. The Tigers of Georgetown are also 1-1 in pool play.
Georgetown, whose record is 40-2, has been to the NAIA National Tournament 14 times. This is the Cougars' 16th straight tournament appearance.
The Cougars and Tigers faced off twice last year, with Georgetown winning both matches.
The Cougars season has been characterized by tenacious defense and ferocious offense from such stars as middle hitter Maria Omondi. Omondi was named conference player of the year and ESPN The Magazine's Academic All-American of the year. At the time the award was announced, Omondi led the team in kills (348) and blocks (147) while hitting a team best .420.
Coach Melinda Wrye-Washington has been named conference coach of the year.
So root, root, root for the Cougars wherever you live!
For more information on Cougar athletics, see the Cougars Web site