COFFEYVILLE, Kan. - The Coffeyville Community College volleyball team hit the court for their first practice of the season this week.
The 2-time defending national champs get ready to take aim at a three-peat.
Coffeyville has been to the national tournament in each of the last three seasons.
"Everyone dreams of winning a national championship. You play for a national championship, but when you get the first one it's just an honor. And then when you get the second one it's a blessing," says head coach Delice Downing.
Fresh off of back-to-back NJCAA Division II national titles Downing has built one of the most dominant junior college volleyball programs in the country.
"They want to work hard for you. They work hard for you. And then you can see it on the floor and it's just rewarding to watch our girls have the love for the game. And the love for each other," says Downing.
"We're not a team. We're a family. And then we definitely built like a legacy," adds assistant coach Jessica Anderson.
This Coffeyville squad is ready to get the long and grueling season going with some expectations of capturing a three-peat.
"That was last year. This is this year. It's a different team, but at the same time it's like you want to have that pressure. You want to do it again. You know it's possible. Especially, when it's happened before. You know it's possible," says sophomore Erianna Murray.
The Red Ravens are tough to beat on their home court, going undefeated the last three seasons.
"Our community comes out. Our parents, our boosters they all come out. And it's probably like 300-400 deep in here. As soon as they step on the court they're not used to someone in their face all the time, and we love it," says Downing.
"It's nice to know that people support you and they know what you're capable of and so you have people out here that have seen you play every game," says Murray.
The Red Ravens are expected to enter pre-season at the top of the polls, but coach Downing says her squad still plays with an underdog mindset.
"We don't like to brag. We don't like to boast. We like to put it on the court and let our actions speak for itself," adds Downing.
The Red Ravens will play their first match of the regular season on August 23rd in Wichita.
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