Three Tyler Junior College volleyball players, who were key standouts on the team's drive to the national tournament, signed with four-year colleges on Wednesday.
Signing were Adrienn Amaro (Pittsburg State), Ivana Bulajic (Florida Atlantic) and Jaqueline Santos (Texas Woman's University).
Amaro, a 5-8 setter from Maize, Kan., is going back to her home state. Pittsburg State is located in Pittsburg, Kan. The Gorillas compete in NCAA Division II and the Mid-American Intercollegiate Athletic Association.
Bulajic, a 6-3 middle blocker, will head to Boco Raton, Fla. The Owls are an NCAA Division I school and compete in the Sun Belt Conference. Santos was named to two first-team All-America squads — the NJCAA and the American Volleyball Coaches Association. She is a 6-1 middle blocker from Sao Paulo, Brazil. TWU is located in Denton and the Pioneers compete in NCAA Division II's Lone Star Conference.
The three were instrumental in the Apache Ladies' 32-6 record and placing fifth in the nation, the highest finish by a TJC volleyball team. The national tournament was held in West Plains, Mo.
It may have been a taxing day on Monday for most people, but not for the top-ranked TJC tennis squads.
Both the Apaches and Apache Ladies won the 16th annual Southwest JUCO Championships in Temple.
The Tyler men and women compiled 63 points apiece for comfortable wins over runner-up Collin. The Apaches prevailed by 13 points at Tranum Tennis Center and the Apache Ladies by 11 at the Temple High School courts.
The Laredo men were third with 27 points, while Temple tallied 25 for fourth. Following Tyler and Collin in the women's field were North Central Texas (41), Temple (30), Seminole State (Okla.) (16) and Laredo (12).
Fans can watch TJC today and Saturday in the Region XIV Tennis Tournament on the John E. Peterson Courts at the JoAnn Medlock Murphy Tennis Center, 1030 S. Palmer Avenue. The Brookshire Family Tennis Courts, which are adjacent to the Murphy Center, will also be used.
Today, both TJC teams take on Jacksonville College at 11 a.m. The Jaguars meet Laredo at 3 p.m.
On Saturday, Laredo and TJC will play at 9 a.m.
Along with the team top-ranking, the Apaches have the No. 1 player in Adrien Berkowicz. Other TJC rankings include No. 13 Tassilo Schmid, No. 20 Jacob Rother, No. 26 James Martell, No. 35 Ryan Hudelson and No. 60 Mitch Martell.
In doubles, the Martell brothers, who played at Robert E. Lee High School, are ranked No. 3 in the nation. The team of Berkowicz-Rother is No. 10, while Hudelson-Schmid is at No. 31. Laredo's Caio Gomez is No. 3, while Jacksonville College's Jonathan Taylor is No. 70.
The NJCAA Division III No. 3-ranked Apache baseball team hits the road this weekend for a three-game series in Eunice, La.
TJC (28-14) plays NJCAA Division II No. 1-ranked LSU-Eunice (35-7) on Friday (6 p.m.), Saturday (6 p.m.) and Sunday (1 p.m.).
The Apaches return home for a regular season final series on April 27. It is a doubleheader with Panola College at Mike Carter Field. The first game is set for 3 p.m.
TJC is hopeful of returning to the NJCAA World Series which is May 25-30 at Mike Carter Field.