A three nothing defeat to take seventh place. That was the last memory of head coach Delice Downing and the returning sophomores of the 2017 Red Raven volleyball team. That was the driving force behind the work and effort of the 2017 Red Raven volleyball team.
The team had a historic run throughout the season. They lost threir first match of the year against Central Community College of Columbus 3-2. A team could develop a poor attitude and apathy. Instead, the team became resillient and fought. For 29 straight games, the Red Ravens applied their dominance throughout the KJCCC, as well as, their NJCAA opponents. Their winning streak would be snapped by Parkland College in October in a lopsided sweep.
The Red Ravens faced six, five sets matches throughout the season. They won all but one, Central Community.
After making the KJCCC playoffs, the Red Ravens ran through the tournament beating Neosho County 3-2 in an exciting match. With the victory, the Red Ravens were headed back to the NJCAA National Tournament.
In the opening round, the Red Ravens would face a familiar opponent, Northeastern Oklahoma College. Throughout the year the Red Ravens had beaten NEO in all four matches. The Norsemen came to play in the tournament. The two teams traded blows throughout the match, but the Red Ravens came out on top winning the match 3-2.
Moving onto the second round, the Red Ravens would face Pasco-Hernando from Florida. Downing's team found themselves in a dangerous 2-0 hole against an elite team. It would have been easy for the team to fold up and not show for the third set. Instead, the team displayed moxie as they stormed back to win three straight.
It was time for vengance. In the third round, the women faced off against #2 in the nation Parkland College. The Red Ravens jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the match. Maybe it was excitement. Maybe the team was beginning to look forward to their next opponent. Parkland stormed back to win back-to-back sets 25-22 to tie up the match. The team was well versed in set five matches. They were accustomed to the drama. The Red Ravens stormed their revenge as they beat Parkland 15-8 to advance to the championship game.
The stage was set. The number one team in the tournament, Owens Community College. The Red Ravens wanted to keep the drama at bay as the team went on to win the championship match 3-1.
An amazing season punctuated by the highest honors. Downing and her program are the best team in the country. Now, it isn't a biased statement; it is fact.