Cougars Top Seed in NJCAA VB National Tourney
When: April 13-15, 2021
Where: Alliant Energy Powerhouse Arena in Cedar Rapids, IA
The Cougars are the #1 overall seed in this year’s tournament and will look to bring home their second national championship (2009). They will open play against #16 Potomac State (from Keyser, WV) at 1:00 pm on Tues, April 13. The Cougars boast a 20-1 record and bring an 11-game win streak into the tourney, while the Catamounts are 14-3 and riding a 10-game win streak. This is the second consecutive season ICC has qualified for nationals (32nd overall) after placing 8th in the fall of 2019.
ICC is led by a pair of sophomores in 1st team All-Region picks Courtney Heffren (Eureka HS) & Alivia West (Metamora HS). Heffren is a talented outside hitter who can also play libero and has a 4.57 digs/set average and leads the team with 320 digs on the year. West is a formidable middle hitter with 71 total blocks (team leader), 2.6 kills/set, and a .353 kill percentage.
Two 2nd team All-Region players provide the Cougars with more firepower. Sophomore setter Paige Sauder (Roanoke-Benson HS) runs the controls for the Cougars with a 10.69 ast/set average while freshman Hannah Alvey (Illini Bluffs HS) averages 3.92 kills/set at a .383 kill percentage.
The All-Region honors weren’t just earned by the players, as head coach Tracy Heffren & staff scooped up the Region Coach of the Year award and deservedly so. Heffren has a 54-14 overall record in just two seasons at the college level and knows how to win a championship as she led Eureka HS to a state title in 2016. Being an ICC alum who bleeds blue and gold has made the Cougars all the stronger as she knows what it’s like to compete at a high level for the hometown team.
If the Cougars win their first game, they will play Tues, April 13 at 7:30 pm against the winner of #8 Gulf Coast State/#9 Muskegon game. If ICC loses, they would play at 4:30 pm on Tuesday.
Live broadcasts can be purchased through NJCAA TV on the official tourney website.