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NOVA Women Capture State Basketball Crown

Vienna’s Carlie Zirkle earns MVP honors.

— The Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) women’s basketball team won the 2012 Virginia Community College System (VCCS) Championship by defeating Southside Virginia Community College, 48-26. The tournament was held March 2-4 in Chesapeake. Former Marshall High standout Carlie Zirkle (Vienna) received the most valuable player honor and was named to the All-Tournament team, along with Halley Cummins (Vienna) and Yvette Gilliam (Woodbridge).

During the championship game, Zirkle was the leading scorer with 17 points. Cummins netted 15 points, all in the second half to help NOVA pull away from the top-seeded Panthers. Kasee Hilliard (Richmond) scored 14 points, Hoda Nasseri (Springfield) added 13, and Gilliam contributed 11 points.

“This season was exciting for our basketball program,” said NOVA head coach Wayne Vincent. “Our team endured injuries but we stayed together and our student athletes believed they could win the VCCS if we got healthy.”

In Saturday’s semifinals, NOVA defeated Thomas Nelson Community College (Tidewater area), 92-61. Zirkle led all scorers with 27 points. Cummins connected on six three-point baskets to score 22 points. Nasseri scored 14 points, Gilliam added 13, and Hilliard had 12 points.

The championship will be the final VCCS title for NOVA, as the college will now compete in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) starting in the fall of 2012.