Clark Makes Run at Title

Penguin Volleyball ends phenomenal season at conference championships      


The Clark College volleyball team celebrates its second place finish in the 2015 season.

The Clark Volleyball team started the NWAC Championship tournament with a No. 3 South Region seed and an opening match loss on Thursday to Walla Walla in five sets. After that, the Penguins went on a roll and won their next six matches on Friday and Saturday to make it to the Championship game on Sunday.

Head coach Mark Dunn said he kept telling the team to take things one match at a time. And after a big win over South Region rival Chemeketa, it was about authenticating that win. “After we defeated Chemeketa on Friday, we felt like we had to validate that on Saturday,” Dunn said. “And the ladies came through with four in a row.”

Their run at the NWAC Championship came to a halt Sunday afternoon at the Tacoma Convention Center. Three-time defending champ Blue Mountain (42-9) of Pendleton, Oregon, added a fourth straight title with a 3-1 win over the Penguins. The Penguins opened the match with a back-and-forth battle and won 25-23. The next three sets and the title went to the Timberwolves. Scores for the match were 23-25, 25-17, 25-22, and 25-20.

Clark’s Janessa Mast had 14 kills and 16 digs, Livia Strandberg had 12 kills and 10 digs, Meghan Turner had 26 digs, Gauleighyan Eastman had 22 assists and 10 digs, and Kinsey Pease had 22 assists. For a complete box score of the championship:

It was the first time since 1979 that a Clark team had played for an NWAC Volleyball title. Clark finished the year with a 26-16 record and as runners-up in the Championship. In addition to taking the second-place trophy, Clark had three players named to the All-Tournament team. Those three were sophomores Meghan Turner and Janessa Mast, and freshman Melisa Ljuca. The all-star libero, Meghan Turner, was also named “Most Inspirational Player” of the tournament.

2015 Clark Volleyball (26-15)
26 NWAC Tournament Appearances
2 top 4 finishes

Road to the Championship
#3 Seed out of the South, 7-5 Region Record
Saturday – Clark def Linn-Benton (14-25,25-20,15-13)
Saturday – Clark def Tacoma (25-21,16-25,15-13)
Saturday – Clark def Walla Walla (25-13,25-17)
Saturday – Clark def Bellevue (22-25,25-22,15-6)
Friday – Clark def Chemeketa (21-25,25-23,17-15)
Thursday – Clark def Pierce (25-17,25-13)
Thursday – Walla Walla def Clark (22-25,12-25,25-19,25-20,20-18)
Team Tournament Stats
Hitting Percentage
Clark – .195, 4th ranked in the tournament
Blue Mountain – .194, 5th ranked in the tournament
Opponent Hitting Percentage
Clark – .109, 1st ranked in the tournament
Blue Mountain – .144, 3rd ranked in the tournament
Blue Mountain -11.33/set, 3rd ranked in the tournament
Clark – 11.10, 6th ranked in the tournament
Blue Mountain – 12.39/set, 3rd ranked in the tournament
Clark – 11.71, 7th ranked in the tournament
Clark – 2.43/set, 2nd ranked in the tournament
Blue Mountain – 1.78/set, 6th ranked in the tournament
Service Aces
Blue Mountain – 1.78/set, 3rd ranked in the tournament
Clark – 1.14/set, 13th ranked in the tournament


Photo by Tracy Swisher, NWAC Sports Information Director