Nov. 18, 2010

Courtesy of Metro State

MARSHALL, Minn. - No. 13 Metro State upset No. 3 Wayne State (Neb.) 28-26, 20-25, 25-18, 25-16 on Thursday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Marshall, Minn. The Roadrunners improved to 25-6 this season, the second straight 25-win season and the fifth in Head Coach Debbie Hendricks' 11th year at Metro State. They have topped the 20-win mark in nine of those years. The Wildcats finished their season with a 26-4 mark. Metro State was seeded sixth in the Central Region and WSC was the No. 3 seed.

It was the highest-ranked opponent that the Metro State has defeated since topping No. 3 Nebraska-Kearney in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Tournament championship match on Nov. 14 last season.

After hitting under .210 in three straight matches at the RMAC Tournament last weekend, the Roadrunners got their offense going again, hitting .310 on Thursday. Setter Darcy Schwartzman had 58 assists and added 10 digs.

Bri Morley had a match-high 19 kills, leading four Roadrunners in double digits in kills. Emily Greenhalgh had 16, Julie Causseaux had 14 and Lisa Jones had 11.

Defensively, Ngoc Phan dug up 17 attempts and Alex Green had 15 digs. Anna Mapes and Greenhalgh each had four blocks.

Metro State trailed nearly the entire first set and was behind by as much as five. Trailing 20-16, the Roadrunners rallied with five of the next six, including four straight to tie the set at 21-21. A Mapes kill fought off set point at 24-23 and an ace by Morley gave the Roadrunners set point at 25-24. WSC scored the next two to again hold Metro State at set point, but three straight kills by Mapes, Causseaux and Morley finished the set at 28-26. Greenhalgh had seven kills in the first set.

The Roadrunners were unable to rally from another slow start in the second. Wayne State led 14-8 when Metro State scored five in a row to cut the lead to 14-13 with Jones serving, but the Wildcats held on and led the entire set after a 3-3 tie. Metro State hit just .062 in the second set, its lowest percentage of the match.

For the third straight set, Wayne State jumped out to an early lead, pulling ahead 9-6. Metro State chipped away and tied it at 11-11. The set was tied 16-16 when Metro State went on a seven-point run to lead 23-16 as Green served seven points in a row. A Greenhalgh kill started the run and Morley finished it with kills on three of the final four points. Another kill from Morley, her seventh of the set, gave Metro State the 25-18 win.

Metro State finally got off to a strong start in the fourth and led throughout the set. Leading 8-7, the Roadrunners ran off five of six points for a 13-8 edge. They hit .419 in the fourth set, their best of the night. Causseaux led the Roadrunners with seven kills in the frame.

Metro State will now face No. 1-ranked and No. 2-seed Concordia-St. Paul. The Golden Bears eliminated Metro State in the regional final last season en route to their third straight national championship.