Two Brookhaven College Bears women's teams hit the road for the National Junior College Athletic Association Division III championship tournaments this past weekend. The Bears Soccer team kept all three opponents scoreless to take the national championship Nov. 17 in Dryden, New Jersey. Bears Volleyball returned to the nationals for the first time since 2015 and came away with third.
The Bears Soccer team had the top seed going into the tournament with an undefeated season. This was the team's third trip to the national tournament in the last four years with another national title win in 2017. The team beat Rowan College of South Jersey-Gloucester in the quarterfinals, 2-0 and defeated Brookdale Community College 3-0 in the semifinals. Two second half goals sealed the win against Delta college in the finals.
Sophomore Alex Sandlin was named the tournament Most Valuable Player. Freshman Tori Sifuentes scored a goal in each of the team's three matches and earned the tournament's Most Valuable Offensive Player award. Reagan Eichel, Paige Pak and Vanessa Villanueva were all named to the tournament team and Jimmy Elder was recognized as Coach of the Tournament.
The Bears Volleyball team headed to Rochester, Minnesota for their 12th trip to the national tournament since 2004. The team beat Central Lakes in the quarterfinal round, but fell in the semifinals in straight sets to Owens Community College, who went on to be tournament champs. The Bears rallied in their final matchup with Rochester, battling through five sets to win with a 15-11 final set to earn their third-place tournament finish. Freshman Yasmin Miller and sophomore Laurissa Zavala earned spots on the All-Tournament team.
"I am so incredibly proud of both teams! For any team to qualify for the National Tournament is an amazing accomplishment," said Kevin Hurst, athletic director. "That Brookhaven had two qualify this fall is a testament to the recruiting, player development, and preparation of the coaching staffs as well as the hard work, skill and dedication of our student athletes."