CASPER, WYO. – Wallace State volleyball opens play Thursday at the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division I championships in Casper, Wyo., with their highest ever seed in the tournament.

The 12th-seeded Lions play No. 5 Hillsborough (Fla.) Community College in a first-round match at 4 p.m. CST on Thursday. The double-elimination event, featuring 16 teams, can be seen live on

Wallace State (39-6) is making its seventh consecutive NJCAA Division I tournament appearance and a state-best 15th overall after another dominant march through the Alabama Community College Conference (ACCC). The Lions, the District O champion, advanced to the national tournament after defeating Faulkner State for the ACCC tournament championship on Nov. 1.

Wallace State returns to the court Thursday to play Hillsborough. The Hawks, based out of Plant City, Fla., enter the tournament with a 31-5 record as the District H champion.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to compete against the top teams in the nation and look forward to the experience once again. Our team is talented and expecting to compete at this level. We play a very good Hillsborough team, and we will need to pass and play defense to take advantage of our size to be successful against them,” said Wallace State coach Randy Daniel. “The sophomore experience should help us as they all played an important role last year when we were here. The team is hungry and motivated so it will depend on how consistent we can play.”

Wallace State is led on the front line by sophomores CeCe Hall and Kheala Roberts.

Hall, an Alabama commitment, led the conference this season in hitting percentage (.631), kills (487), kills per set (3.90), blocks (197) and blocks per set (1.58). She was named the 2015 ACCC Player of the Year and conference tournament MVP.

Roberts, a first-team ACCC All-Region and all-tournament selection for Wallace State, enters the national tournament with 338 kills, 124 blocks and a .491 hitting percentage.

Sophomore setter Alexandra Gamble, also a first-team ACCC All-Region and all-tournament selection, has registered 1,131 assists this season.

Freshman Kelsea Bivins has collected 415 kills and 230 digs for Wallace State, Cierra Davis has 277 kills and 254 blocks and August Newberry has added a team-high 623 digs.

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Russell Moore

Staff Writer

Wallace State Community College

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