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(CSI Photo)

(West Plains) – The Golden Eagles from the College of Southern Idaho (CSI) in Twin Falls raised the championship trophy Saturday night, Nov. 17, in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division I Women’s National Volleyball Championship Tournament at the West Plains Civic Center in West Plains, Mo.

The Golden Eagles (33-1), seeded first in the tournament, picked up their second national championship in four years by defeating second seeded Western Nebraska Community College (40-3), Scottsbluff, 25-20, 25-21, 25-20, before a boisterous crowd of enthusiastic volleyball fans.

The match brought to an end the annual three-day tournament, which was being hosted by Missouri State University-West Plains. This is the final year the tournament is being held in West Plains. It will move to Casper, Wyo., in 2013 for a three-year stay.

Third place in this year’s tournament went to fourth seeded San Jacinto College-Central (35-3) of Pasadena, Texas, who defeated third seeded Iowa Western Community College (45-4), Council Bluffs, 22-25, 28-26, 25-23, 25-22.

Fifth place went to fifth seeded Tyler Junior College (32-6), Tyler, Texas. The Apaches defeated the Patriots of sixth seeded College of Central Florida (35-8), Ocala, 25-14, 25-21, 25-18. Eighth seeded Hillsborough Community College (29-14), Tampa, Fla., placed seventh in the tournament after defeating seventh seeded North Idaho College (23-8), Coeur d’Alene, 25-23, 25-20, 29-27. The hosting Grizzlies of Missouri State-West Plains, seeded ninth in the event, placed ninth after defeating 14th seeded Temple College (24-19), Temple, Texas, 21-25, 25-11, 25-14, 25-18.

Individual awards were handed out following the presentation of the championship trophies after the final match. CSI’s Keani Passi was named tournament MVP, and all tournament team honors were handed out to Missouri State-West Plains’ Helena Peric; Vanessa Benke, College of Central Florida; Yang Yang, North Idaho College; Andrea Tauai, Hillsborough Community College; Jacqueline Santos, Tyler Junior College; Marie-Pierre Bakima and Oni Lattin, both of San Jacinto College-Central; Yulia Voronko, Iowa Western Community College; Luiza Martins and Danika Youngblood, both of Western Nebraska Community College; and Heather Meeuwsen and Liene Mullupe, both of CSI.

Coach of the Year honors went to CSI Head Coach Heidi Cartisser.

For more information about the tournament, visit the website at

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