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Columbia College volleyball team reaches milestone at tournament

Saturday, September 4, 2010 | 10:53 p.m. CDT; updated 12:08 a.m. CDT, Sunday, September 5, 2010
Texas-Brownsville outside hitter Erica Chimak, left, tips the ball over the net between teammate Talita Milasauskas and Columbia College setter Paula Ferreira on Saturday at Southwell Complex. UTB won the match after dominating the third game.

COLUMBIA — By sweeping Lindenwood on Friday night, the Columbia College volleyball team notched its 1,000th victory since the program's inception in 1983. But the Cougars could not carry that momentum into their match against Texas-Brownsville on Saturday night, losing 25-19, 21-25, 25-23, 25-12 in the title match of the Quality Inn Classic.

During and after Saturday's match, the Cougars were visibly frustrated. Columbia College coach Melinda Wrye-Washington slammed her notebook down multiple times throughout the match.

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“Columbia College is an exceptional institution,” Wrye-Washington said. “Our girls need to accept that and play with a little bit more pride in our institution and the name on their back. You can’t take that for granted. Columbia supports the volleyball team.”

Wrye-Washington, who has coached the Cougars to 392 of the program’s wins, said she was was disappointed in the effort put forth by her team.

“We just didn’t come to play, we didn’t execute," Wrye-Washington said. “I still feel like we are a better team than (the Scorpions).”

The team missed seven serves in the third set alone, which repeatedly killed any momentum they had built. Wrye-Washington said the young team is still learning how to play together and hopes to use this loss as a learning experience.

“We have to pay attention to our mistakes, or else it is going to kill us,” senior libero Tally Mattos said.

After narrowly dropping the third game, the Cougars fell apart in the fourth game. With Columbia College up 23-22 in the third game and momentum on their side, Wrye-Washington was forced to use a timeout when junior outside hitter Vesna Trivunovic felt dizzy.

“If we would have had that last timeout, it would have helped, but that’s a factor you just can’t control,“ Wrye-Washington said.

Eight-ranked Texas-Brownsville controlled the tempo of the match, slowing the game down and playing to their strengths.

Columbia College's Truivunovic, Mattos and sophomore setter Paula Ferreira were named to the all-tournament team after the loss.

The Cougars play next weekend in the Graceland University Invitational in Lamoni, Iowa.


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