After winning their 21st Region 14 Tournament Championship, the Lady Cardinals are headed to the NJCAA National Tournament for the tenth year in a row.
"To be one of the final 24 teams in the country is such a blessing. Trinity Valley is an amazing place, special people. To be part of a tradition like this is just unbelievable," said Gerald Ewing, TVCC Lady Cardinals Head Coach.
In 2016, Trinity Valley made it all the way to the national championship final, but fell short 63-47 to Gulf Coast State. However, it's not a memory that haunts this team at night.
"It doesn't matter because anyone can get beat on any given day. When you get down there you just have to play your best, make the least amount of mistakes as possible, and just take care of the ball," said Coach Ewing.
With the turnaround that happens at the junior college level, only four of the Lady Cards are returning to the tournament for back to back years. According to sophomore transfer and standout Shakeela Fowler, that doesn't mean only four athletes have a chip on their shoulder.
"We're going to use last years loss in the finals as motivation. We're all playing for something, as well as each other, we're playing to get to the next place. We all try to help one another look good, cause at the end of the day we got to go somewhere else," said Shakeela Fowler, sophomore.
Winning the program's ninth national title would add some serious stock to Fowler and her teammates. As recent Region 14 Tournament MVP, Naomi Davenport mentions, it would help show her team's growth. Earlier in the regular season, Trinity Valley and Kilgore were both forced to forfeit two games due to emotions overheating on the court.
"It would really impress the people that came before us, that's rewarding to the people that came before us people that work so hard to get those banners up there. For us it would really show our maturity. Middle of the season we had all that stuff happen to us. I feel like this is the reward that we need, to bring it home for us," said Naomi Davenport, sophomore.
The Lady Cardinals will head to Lubbock in the coming days, and will play the winner of the game between 11th-seeded Northeastern Oklahoma A&M and 22nd-seeded Iowa Western at 7 p.m. Wednesday. NEO and Iowa Western play at 12 p.m. Tuesday.