The Ranger College women's volleyball team found the perfect way to celebrate their best-ever season on the court on Monday evening in front of a large Sophomore Night crowd in the Ron Butler Gymnasium: They clinched the No. 2 seed in the upcoming Region V North Volleyball Championships with a resounding 3-0 victory over Temple College.
With the victory, Ranger notched its 21st victory - the most by any Lady Rangers' team since the program was started in 2004 – and guaranteed itself one of the top two seeds in the regional tournament which is scheduled to tip off on Nov. 2 at Cedar Valley College in Lancaster.
"I'm proud of what the girls have accomplished," said RC head coach Nicole Smith, who has transformed the Lady Rangers from a 7-win team three years ago into a North Texas Junior College Athletic Conference power. "This is a good group of girls, and they have worked hard to get where we are."
Ranger didn't waste any time in delivering knockout blows to Temple. Backed by the spikes from sophomores Hayley Daniel and Hannah Brink, the RC women pounded out a 25-14 win in the first game of the best-of-five series. They finished off the rout with scores of 25-21 and 25-21 in the final two frames.
The victory moved Ranger to 7-2 in NJCAC play heading into Thursday's regular-season finale against rival Cisco.
By clinching second in the regional tournament, the Lady Rangers will face North Central Texas College in the opening round of the double-elimination event. Top-seeded Hill College will face either Temple or Vernon in the first round.
Smith said her team is focused on finishing strong against Cisco, but feels the team is playing well heading into the Region V North tournament.
"We're taking it one match at a time," she said. "But we're excited to see what the next couple of weeks have in store for us."
Despite the loss, Temple can still clinch the No. 4 seed in the regional tournament with a win over NCTC Thursday, or if Vernon loses to Hill in their final outing.