Experience Helps NTU Sweep AIHEC Volleyball Tournament in Straight Sets

The NTU volleyball team poses for a picture with Olympic gold medalist Billy Mills. Mills was the keynote speaker at the American Indian Higher Education Consortium’s annual student conference in Minneapolis.

The NTU volleyball team poses for a picture with Olympic gold medalist Billy Mills. Mills was the keynote speaker at the American Indian Higher Education Consortium’s annual student conference in Minneapolis.

Published March 23, 2016

MINNEAPOLIS Navajo Technical University won the 2016 American Indian Higher Education Consortiums’ annual volleyball tournament after defeating each of its opponents in straight sets. In the championship match, NTU defeated Little Big Horn College of Crow Agency, MT, 25-2, 25-10, 25-18, on March 16th, 2016 at the YWCA in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Last year NTU finished second to Turtle Mountain Community College of Belcourt, North Dakota, which provided extra motivation for this year’s team. “Coming up short last year was heartbreaking,” stated outside hitter Tyson Ramone of Smith Lake, NM. “We were overconfident so this year we knew what we wanted.”

NTU outside hitter Tysone Ramone goes up for a spike in NTU’s semifinal match against Nebraska Indian Community College. NTU won the match 25-7, 25-4.

NTU outside hitter Tysone Ramone goes up for a spike in NTU’s semifinal match against Nebraska Indian Community College. NTU won the match 25-7, 25-4.

“We had five returners who had experience and they really came through for us,” explained Ramone, who finished the championship match with 21 kills and 6 assists. “We knew what to expect.”

En route to the finals NTU drew IĮsagvik College from Barrow, AK in the first round and won in dominating fashion, 25-5, 25-8. The team then took on Salish Koontenai College from Pablo, MT and won 25-10, 25-11. In the semifinals, the team then swept Nebraska Indian Community College 25-7, 25-4, solidifying themselves a spot in the finals for the second straight year.

“It took a lot of hard work, passion, and practice,” reflected coach Rachel Sam, who began practices in January in preparation for the tournament. “We made it by working as a team and communicating.”

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