Cougars aim to slow Lions

Vengeance as motivation for Columbia College tonight
Friday, November 19, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 4:22 a.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

Lindenwood’s volleyball players have shown Columbia College one side this season.

Their good side.

In the Cougars’ season opener on Sept. 1, Lindenwood took Columbia College to four games before losing, and on Oct. 2, the Lions defeated the Cougars at the Lindenwood Invitational. The Cougars face the Lions at 7 tonight at The Arena of Southwell Complex in a semifinal match of the NAIA Region V Tournament.

“They’ve taken some of the best teams in the nation to four and five games,” Cougars’ coach Melinda Wrye-Washington said. “They’ve also shown some inconsistency. But we’ll probably get the good team because they’re always fired up to face us.”

The Cougars and Lions have met three times during the season, with the Cougars winning two of three. At the Lindenwood Invitational, the Cougars were battling injuries and lost to Central Methodist University and Lindenwood on the same day. Central Methodist will face Culver-Stockton College in the other semifinal at 5 p.m.

Several Cougar players said revenge would be a factor in the match against Lindenwood.

“There’s a lot of revenge motivation for us,” senior setter Tracie Ford said. Ford played with back spasms against the Lions and was limited to 21 assists in the match. “We didn’t play well against them and they took a win from us.”

Ford is not the only Cougar who will be recovered from injury. Senior outside hitter Jacqueline Makokha is healed from her right ankle sprain and junior defensive specialist Kat Weisenborn has returned from Plantar Fasciitis.

“Having Tracie (Ford) healthy will allow us to set our tone for the match,” senior middle blocker Shana Aubrey said.

The Cougars will also have a different look to show the Lions.

Freshman Nancy Sikobe started the season as an outside hitter and is now a middle blocker. Sikobe had only returned to playing the middle in the third match against Lindenwood and now has more than a month of experience back in the middle.

Ford said Sikobe and Aubrey’s play forming the Cougar block will be a key to the match.

If the Cougars win the tournament, they will be assured an automatic berth into the national tournament Dec.1-4 in San Diego. The Cougars have won all five Region V Tournaments since the tournament’s inception.

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