Columbia College women's volleyball team wins AMC opener

Tuesday, September 6, 2011 | 11:13 p.m. CDT; updated 11:28 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, September 6, 2011

COLUMBIA — The Columbia College women’s volleyball team beat Park 25-16, 25-18, 25-17 on Tuesday in the Cougars' American Midwest Conference opener at the Arena of Southwell Complex.

“We put in a lot more intensity,” Cougars junior Kelly Corkum said.

The Cougars (4-1) started the first set with a 11-1 run, featuring key blocks by Corkum, who said a new drill in practice has helped her improve.

Coach Melinda Wrye-Washington has been having blockers use foam sticks to show where their hands are in practice.

“They (the sticks) have really helped me, personally,” Corkum said, “instead of boring monotonous blocking drills.”

Along with key blocks, several diving plays contributed to the Cougars' win. In the third set, sophomore Erin Pavlin dove headfirst after a ball and smashed into the official’s standard, coming away with a cut on her nose.

“She wanted to go back in, but it was safer just to keep her out to make sure she’s OK,” Wrye-Washington said.

Columbia College, ranked No. 3 in Tuesday's NAIA poll, plays next this weekend when it defends its title at the Graceland University Invitational in Lamoni, Iowa.

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