MAC Volleyball

Freshman outside hitter Jane Kickham directs a pass during a district playoff match last Saturday for the Mineral Area College volleyball team, which has been seeded 13th among 16 schools in the NJCAA National Tournament. The Lady Cardinals (25-7) will face No. 4 seed Miami-Dade in the first round Thursday in Casper, Wyo.

Matt King, Daily Journal

PARK HILLS – As the Mineral Area volleyball team continues to prepare for the NJCAA Division I national tournament, its place in the bracket is now known.

The Lady Cardinals will make their second appearance at the event and first since 2011 as the No. 13 seed following the announcement of first-round pairings on Thursday.

Mineral Area (25-7) has drawn a matchup with No. 4 seed Miami-Dade (17-5), set for next Thursday at 4 p.m. in Casper, Wyo. The Sharks from Region 8 have won 12 of their last 13 contests.

The Lady Cards topped rival Jefferson for the Region 16 title after MSU-West Plains was ruled ineligible for postseason play, then clinched a national berth with a three-set sweep of John A. Logan.

Freshman attacker Cailey Bracken leads MAC with 358 kills and 346 digs on the season. Pam Zuluaga has 737 assists plus 31 aces, and has become the setter in all rotations.

Miami-Dade is paced by freshman outside hitter Massiel Matos with 4.64 kills per set. That average ranks second in the nation.

Top-ranked Panola (Texas) carries the No. 1 seed in the tournament, followed by No. 2 Iowa Western and No. 3 Western Nebraska.

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