Being a member of a national championship team is a dream that doesn’t come to fruition for many, but Hillsboro grad Lindsey Major is now among those lucky few.
Major, who recently graduated magna cum laude from Missouri Baptist University with a degree in sports management, was a member of the Spartans women’s volleyball team that claimed the program’s first national championship on May 2, in Sioux City, IA.
“It was just an amazing experience to be a part of,” Major said about the national title.
The Spartans went 9-0 in the American Midwest Conference and won their conference tournament to enter the NAIA national tournament with a record of 22-2. After a three-game win over Milligan University at home in the opening round of the tournament, the Spartans moved on to Sioux City and defeated number 23 Indiana University at Kokomo 3-0, number 11 Keiser University 3-1, number 14 Grand View University 3-2 and number 16 Dordt University 3-2 to advance to the championship game.
There they would take on Midland University, the 12th ranked team in the country and a familiar foe. In their first game of the season, way back on Sept. 5, 2020, Missouri Baptist lost to the Vikings of Midland 21-25, 25-12, 16-25, 25-22, 15-11, one of just two losses on the year. The rematch would be just as close, with Midland holding a 2-1 advantage after three games (25-23, 14-25, 26-24), before the Spartans rallied to take the final two games 25-19, 15-12.
Not to be greedy, but Major hopes that the national title is just a sign of things to come for the Spartans and for herself as she transitions from a player to a graduate assistant for her alma mater in 2021-22.
“We return a lot of players from this year’s team and I think we have a chance to repeat,” Major said of Missouri Baptist, who is ranked first in the final NAIA coaches’ poll. “It would be pretty amazing to be a part of a national championship as a player and as a coach.”