KIRKWOOD, OWENS & SULLIVAN SIGN FOR 2006-2007

The Seward County Community College volleyball program has announced that three sophomores, Kelli Kirkwood, Alison Owens, and Megan Sullivan have announced where they will play volleyball at in 2006. Kirkwood has signed a national letter of intent to Winthrop University (NCAA D-I), Owens will play at Lubbock Christian University (NAIA), and Sullivan has chosen Oklahoma City University (NAIA) for next season. All three sophomores played at Seward County from 2004-2005, helping the Lady Saints to an overall record of 51-28, and back-to-back Region VI Tournament Final Four appearances.

Kirkwood, a 55 setter from Lecompton, Kansas, finished her two-year career at SCCC recording 2,204 assists, 740 digs, and 141 serving aces. Kirkwood was a two-time Jayhawk West All-Conference selection and in 2005 was named Second Team NJCAA All-Region VI. Additionally, Kirkwood was named NJCAA Player of the Week during her sophomore season.

Kirkwood joins a Winthrop University (Rock Hill, S.C.) volleyball program that is currently accomplishing success that have never been seen before in the Big South Conference. Winthrop has won four consecutive Big South Conference Tournament Championships and has made four consecutive NCAA Championship Tournament appearances. The Golden Eagles have won 35 consecutive Big South Conference matches dating back to November of 2003. After the 2005 season, Winthrop became the first volleyball program ever in Big South Conference history to complete back-to-back conference regular seasons with perfect 14-0 records.

Winthrop Head Coach, Joel McCartney, has experience unparallel success in the Golden Eagles program and after accumulating a 133-46 (.743 %) overall record during five seasons he was rewarded with a contract extension through the 2010-2011 school year. In 2005, McCartney guided Winthrop to a 28-6 overall record with their highest NCAA East Regional Ranking coming at No. 3. Winthrop finished their season with losses to South Carolina and Minnesota in the NCAA Championship Tournament.

Owens, a 511 outside hitter from Hugoton, Kansas, will join a Lubbock Christian University program that is coming off a 2005 season where they were Sooner Athletic Conference regular season Champions. The Lady Chaparrals were 23-14 with an 8-2 conference mark last season. Lubbock Christian advanced to the Region VI Tournament in Siloam Springs, Arkansas, where they went 1-1 to end their season.

In her SCCC career, Owens collected 393 kills, 364 digs and 117 blocks. Owens was a co-captain for the Lady Saints in 2005.

Sullivan, a 510 right-side hitter from Dodge City, Kansas, was also a member of the Lady Saints basketball team in 2005-2006. Sullivan will join Owens in the Sooner Athletic Conference but at a reestablished program at Oklahoma City University. Sullivan, also a co-captain in 2005, tallied 66 kills, 408 digs, and 43 blocks in her Seward County volleyball playing career. OCU has not had a volleyball program since 1984, but has reinstated the program under first year Head Coach, Jen Salmans. Sullivan and the Lady Stars will play their first match for the OCU volleyball program on August 22.