TJC prepares for national tournament play

Published: Nov. 16, 2021 at 9:36 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 16, 2021 at 11:27 PM CST
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Tyler Junior College volleyball is getting ready for the NJCAA Division 1 National Tournament which starts on Thursday against New Mexico Military Institute. The Apaches are 4-4 against the Broncos dating back to 2015.

“Oh I think it’s going to be tough right away,” said right side hitter Presley Vaitai. “Like NMMI, they are going to give it their all, we are going to give it our all, but we are the underdogs in this situation, so we are going to come out really hard.”

If you’re looking for some optimism ahead of the matchup, it’s that tournament play might work in TJC’s favor. The team went 14 and 2 at neutral sight matches this year. The Apaches are also ready to prove they can do even better than last season.

“I mean I’m ready to go,” said defensive specialist Harleigh Thurman. “I think last year we did really well at nationals, we got fourth, and this year I think we can go even farther.”

As the team gets ready to make the journey to Hutchinson, KS, coach Brandi Hood-Goldman reflected on all the hard work the group put in at the beginning of the season.

“We were very frustrated,” said Hood-Goldman. “There were a lot of days that there were some tears and some anger on both sides and so it’s nice to see them being a unit and playing well together.”

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