Vanecia Billings attempts to score against Clark State Quentin Pardon | The Collegian

Quentin Pardon
Assistant Editor 

Lorain County Community College’s road to return to the NJCAA Division III National Volleyball Tournament was never going to be easy in a region that includes two of the nation’s top-ranked teams and fellow OCCAC members, Owens CC and Columbus State CC.  The volleyball team finished off the weekend (Oct. 18-19) with a 3-0 win over Clark State Community College, after suffering a tough 0-3 loss to Edison State the other night in conference play. Although the Commodores won their earlier meeting this season going to five sets over Edison State Community College, they fell in straight sets in their rematch by scores of 18-25, 20-25, and 24-26. Brooklyn Hudson (New London) had a career-high 33 digs in the match, while Maddie Markovich (Sheffield Village/Christian Community School) added 17 and Alyssa Burch (Wakeman/Western Reserve) had 12. Vanecia Billings (Lorain/Clearview) put down 11 kills and Lydia Solak (LaGrange/Christian Community School) had four blocks.

LCCC Sophomores Maddie Markovich (Sheffield Village/Christian Community School) and Kara Sullinger (North Ridgeville) wrapped up their final home volleyball match with a 3-1 win over Division II Terra State Community College by scores of 25-22, 24-26, 25-19, and 25-20. For the ninth consecutive match, Vanecia Billings (Lorain/Clearview) led the team in kills with 12, while teammate, Ashley Elliott (LaGrange/Keystone) smacked eight. Sullinger had 33 assists and Brooklyn Hudson (New London) led the defensive effort with 17 digs.

Freshman Middle Hitter, Vanecia Billings, (Lorain/Clearview) was named the Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) Division III Volleyball Player of the Week for the week of Oct. 14-20, 2019, for her outstanding play.

Billings has become a dominant force at the net, leading the Commodores in kills over the last nine matches. She exploded for 19 kills in a match against Edison State CC had a 17-kill performance against Lakeland CC, both Division II schools. At the end of the regular season, Billings sits second on the team with 204 kills heading into postseason play. The team leader in blocks with 76, Billings ranks 21st amongst NJCAA Division III athletes in that category and 19th with 45 block assists. Her 204 kills rank her 53rd nationally. “I do a lot of wall work,” says Billings. “I understand my role on the team and I plan on being the best at it. I make sure I get a lot of practice on the wall so when it’s game time, I’m ready to perform.” LCCC Head Coach, Ted Whitsel, praised Billings, saying, “V has gotten stronger and more confident as the season progresses and last week showed how dominant of a player she can be.”

After two 3-1 losses during the regular season to third-ranked Columbus State, LCCC was hoping three was the charm in the Region XII Tournament but it was not to be. Lorain played closer than the scores appear but lost in straight sets 16-25, 26-28, and 14-25 to wrap up their season and championship dreams. Lorain averaged 15 digs per set but had just a 0.044 attack percentage for the match. Maddie Markovich (Sheffield Village/Christian Community School), Myah McDonald (Avon), and Brooklyn Hudson (New London) each had double-digit digs and were responsible for 33 of the team’s 46 digs. The Commodores finish their season at 16-13 overall and 7-9 record in the competitive OCCAC, a conference that includes Division II and Division III colleges. Owens Community College, the nation’s top-ranked team, notched a four-set win over Columbus State to take home the Regional Championship Trophy. Both teams will advance to the NJCAA District G Championships.

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