The Athens Review
SALINA, Kan. — If there was one thing that stood out on Trinity Valley Community College’s road to its seventh NJCAA women’s national title on Saturday night, it was one particular number.
First-year head coach Elena Lovato’s Lady Cardinals won the seventh women’s basketball national title in school history over the Central Arizona Vaqueras, 83-71, at the Bicentennial Center on Kurt Budke Court.
It was the Lady Cards’ second title in as many years.
The Lady Cards also had their seventh player claim tournament MVP honors in sophomore Shannon Smith, who scored 14 points in the championship game. Lovato ran her head coaching record to 77-7 overall.
Oh, by the way, the game started as 7 p.m.
Smith joins Shalonda Ennis (1994), Jennifer Sposato (1996), Betty Lennox (1997), Yalika Barnes (1999), Yolanda Jones (2004) and Keuna Flax (2012) as Lady Cards who have won tournament MVP honors.
“There is so much more going with this whole story,” Lovato said after the win. “I feel like the whole “Chasing Seven” thing was special and then we played the game at 7 p.m. and someone told me that my heading coaching record is 77-7. I almost feel like we were supposed to have had that forfeit so we could end the year with a bunch of seven’s ...”
The No. 1 ranked team in the land and the No. 1 seed in the tournament finished the year with a 36-1 record. TVCC’s only loss came via a forfeit to Weatherford after the team was not able to field a starting five for their game.