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Harvester Bees Capture National Championship

Harvester Bees Capture National Championship

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Perfect doesn't even do it justice.

These Bees were buzzing since Day 1. Now they are national champions.

Dallas College Eastfield's No. 1-ranked volleyball team swept Century College, 25-19, 25-11, 25-22, Saturday. It was the 29th sweep of the year – one where perfection wasn't the objective at the onset, but became the norm and the expectation as each serve passed.

Eastfield (35-0) won its second national title in its third trip to the grand stage. The Harvester Bees won the 2017 NJCAA Division III national championship, and finished runner-up the following year.

With the score tied at 21 in the third set, Eastfield's Tasmine Maxwell put down two straight balls from Denee Cullum to give the Harvesters a two-point cushion. Following a Century sideout, the Bees used an attack error by the Wood Ducks (29-5) and an Ava Cole ace to lay claims to the hardware.

Eastfield freshman outside hitter Azoria Davis finished with 15 kills, 16 digs  and a .389 attack percentage in collecting the NJCAA Championship Most Valuable Player award.  

Leading 1-0 in the match, the Bees put the hammer down in the second set, hitting .364 with 16 kills and four errors in 33 attacks, while the Wood Ducks (29-5) managed just six kills against five errors for an .036 attack percentage. It was enough to suffocate Century in another dynamite display of volleyball by the Bees.

Eastfield, which hit .261 in the match, had nine aces, including four by Brenly Walker. Century finished with three aces.

Maxwell had seven kills, while putting together a .467 attack percentage. Walker had six kills and eight digs to go along with her four aces. Aleyna GerlachCarli Banks and McKenzie Anderson each had five kills. Taryn Doiron and Cullum each had 19 assists. Banks and Anderson combined for five blocks, including a solo by the former. Cole had 12 digs, and Doiron eight.

Century's Kiyomi Callahan had 10 kills, 13 digs and two blocks. Jamie Ihfe had nine kills, two aces, two blocks and seven digs.

The Bees raced out to an 18-7 lead in the second set on a kill by Banks. That came one serve after they completed a 7-0 run that took them from a five-point lead to a 11-point bulge. The Wood Ducks never challenged until the third set when they matched the Harvester Bees serve for serve through the first 14 points to keep it tied at 7. After Century crept ahead 11-8 on Alexis Helmin and Ihfe's block, Eastfield won three of the next four points – the latter a kill by Davis.

The Wood Ducks swapped serves with the Bees over the next seven points before Kalley Vugteveen and Ihfe combined on a block to put Century in front, 17-14. After a kill by Ihfe that kept the Wood Ducks ahead by three, Eastfield went on a three-point run, touched off by Banks' kill to tie it at 18. The two sides traded points over the next six serves until Maxwell's kill turned the tide towards title talk.

Eastfield became only the second team to win multiple titles since 2014 when Madison College repeated. Owens Community College won three straight titles from 2018-21, with no tournament held in 2020. The Harvester Bees are eighth school to win multiple NJCAA Division III championships.