Columbia College's seedings and locations in the NAIA National Tournament opening round in three separate sports were revealed Monday.
No. 2-seeded men's soccer will host its opening round game this weekend, securing a Friday bye while awaiting the winner of Dalton State (Ga.) and Embry-Riddle (Ariz.) at 5 p.m. Saturday at R. Marvin Owens Field in Columbia.
This is the Cougars' ninth National Tournament appearance in school history — all of which have come under coach John Klein — and their fifth-straight overall. CC's No. 2 ranking is also its highest tournament seeding in program history, earned thanks to American Midwest Conference regular season and tournament titles plus a 20-0 start to the season.
Women's soccer also qualified for the National Tournament, but will play on the road in Pulaski, Tennessee, for their opening round match.
The Cougars (18-3) will do battle with Taylor (Ind.) on Friday at a time to be determined. This will be CC's seventh-straight appearance in the National Tournament, clinched when the Cougars won this year's AMC regular season title, their second in three seasons.
If Columbia wins, it will set up a rematch with site hosts Martin Methodist on Saturday, also at a time to be determined. The No. 5-seeded Redhawks beat CC 2-0 Aug. 23 in the Cougars' season opener in Columbia.
Finally, No. 9-seeded CC volleyball, as a reward for being one of the National Tournament's Top 20 seeds, was announced to have clinched a bye from Saturday's opening round.
The Cougars automatically qualify for pool play, held from Dec. 3-5 at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa. This is the Cougars' 26th appearance in the tournament, the most of any team in this year's field.
Three Stephens volleyball players voted All-AMC honorable mentions
Three Stephens volleyball freshman athletes – McKennzi Domescik-Rink, Mollie Thompson and Sophie Thompson – each received All-American Midwest Conference honorable mention honors Friday. With the recognition, the trio became the first Stephens freshmen to be recognized by the league since Tanya Avington in 2013.
All three appeared in every single Stars' match this season, emerging as key members on the youngest team in the NAIA.
Domescik-Rink averaged 3.19 kills per set and led the team with 300 kills this season. In conference play, she recorded 156 kills, second best in the AMC.
Mollie Thompson led the team with an average of 3.33 digs per set. The Stars’ libero ranked eighth in conference play with 159 digs in 12 matches.
Sophie Thompson had a team-leading 22 service aces this season. Stephens' outside hitter was also reliable on defense, averaging 2.83 digs per set. She recorded 100 digs in conference play which ranked 16th in the AMC.
All AMC awards were voted on by the head coaches in the conference prior to the start of the league’s postseason tournament.
Stephens failed to qualify for the conference tournament after finishing the season 4-23 and 11th in the conference.