Rochester, MN – The RVCC Women’s Volleyball team returned Sunday night after participating in the NJCAA Division III
Volleyball National Championship in Rochester Minnesota, 11/14-17.
Owens Community College (Ohio) was eventually crowned as National Champions for the second season in a row after
the grueling 3-day tournament.
This was Raritan Valley’s first-ever trip to the Volleyball National Championship, a right they earned after winning the
Region XIX North Atlantic B District Championship. RVCC beat RCSJ-Gloucester on 11/2 to secure their spot in the
National Championship after coming up short last season. Of the twelve teams that earned bids into the tournament,
Raritan Valley was given the 12th seed and was able to move up two spots and finish the week with a final ranking of #10
in the country.
Freshman Outside Hitter and First Team All-Region XIX Member, Hannah Chiswick, (Delaware Valley High School,)
commented after the tournament, “I think we have a really special group of talent this year for being able to make it to
Nationals and it was a total team effort. Of course, we were fighting for number 1, but we were just ecstatic to be there
making history for RV Volleyball. Our success is a great start for the future of the program.”
The Lions faced the #5 seed Raiders from Central Lakes Community College (Minnesota) in the First Round of the
tournament. The perennial national championship participant proved to be too much for the Lions as they won in
straight sets 25-16, 25-19, and 25-15. With the loss, the Lions moved to the losers bracket where they faced the #8
seeded Hawks from Harrisburg Area Community College (Pennsylvania).
The Lions previously lost to the Hawks 3-1 earlier in the regular season and had extra motivation to defeat their Region
XIX Foe. With a win, the Lions would be guaranteed a national top ten finish, with a loss, the Lions would have a chance
to finish the tournament just as the seeding expected, in 12th place.
The revenge factor coupled with the desire to prove they were better than 12th place was all the fuel the Lions needed
for the fire. They came out of the gate strong and finished off Harrisburg in 4 sets 27-25, 25-17, 21-25, and 25-21.
With the win, the Lions moved into the 9th place game where they faced the Tigers from Queensborough Community
College (New York). The long trip, coupled with a few injuries and fatigue, ultimately led to the Lion's demise as they fell
to the Region XV opponent 3-1.
“I couldn’t be more proud of this group of young ladies and what they were able to accomplish this season. For the
sophomores that were so close last season, this was a goal they’d been talking about for over a year. They were able to
instill the desire and passion into our freshmen and their determination as a group was too much for teams in our
Region to overcome.” Head Coach Phil Herro went on to discuss the National Tournament experience and how far the
program has come in just five years.
“The entire experience was wonderful. It was so well run, organized, and professional. It gave our team a chance to
experience the highest quality volleyball in the country and provided the team with an equally amazing experience off
the court. It was wonderful flying together, eating meals as a group, getting to relax and spend down-time with each
other, and being able to simulate the experience of the dormitory life for the last five days. For those athletes looking to
play at the 4-year level, this gave them a taste of what is yet to come. We had such a close group before this trip, but
there’s no denying they grew so much closer after all these experiences.
When I was hired five years ago to start this program, we went 0-8 and then 4-10 the following year. That next summer
we hired my Assistant, Kelsie Fleming and our program completely turned around. Since Kelsie’s arrival, our record is 60-
13. We gained our first-ever ranking in the national top 10, won three straight Garden State Athletic Conference
Championships captured the school’s first-ever Region XIX championship and advanced to the National Championship
Tournament where we were able to finish 10th in the entire nation. Her value is undeniable and this program wouldn’t be
where we are today without her, I could never thank her enough.
Finally, I would just like to thank this group of 13 truly special young ladies for their desire, dedication, and commitment
to this program. Without them none of this is possible, they earned this and they deserve it. I’ve always told them, I’m
more of a cheerleader than their coach and I am so happy I got to root for them on the biggest stage of their careers.”
RVCC finished the season 20-7 and will look to build off this year success for next year as they return seven of their