St. Thomas 3, Central 2

Nov. 10, 2005

St. Thomas stormed back from an 2-0 deficit and claimed an improbable five-game victory over visiting Central in NCAA regional volleyball play Thursday at UST's Schoenecker Arena.

Central won the first two games, both by 30-28 margins, but the Pella, Iowa squad couldn't close it out. UST came back to win 30-24, 30-15, 15-12 to advance to Friday's semifinals and a third meeting with MIAC rival St. Benedict (23-5).

The Tommies (29-6) improved to 9-0 at home this season and avenged two earlier four-game losses to the Dutch, who ended their season 26-10.

St. Thomas was sloppy in the first two games. The Toms led game one 25-23 but the Dutch scored six of the next seven points to gain control. The Toms rallied to lead 26-24 in game two, but Central scored the next five points, two on aces by Alex Costigan, and closed out the win after a brief UST comeback.

UST led 21-18 in game three before it opened up a 26-20 lead and claimed its first victory.

Fueled by a vocal home crown, the Tommies finally got in the flow in game four as they stormed to leads of 7-2 and 18-9 in their comfortable win.

Central was hurt by three service errors in game five. The Dutch led 3-0 and 5-3 but each chance to build the lead was stallled with serves into the net. St. Thomas scored five of the next six points for an 8-6 lead. The Toms used kills from Ann Eibensteiner and Hannah Meium to lead 12-8, and Rachelle Dosch later capped the comeback victory with a match-ending kill before a loud Tommie crown watching the first Tommie NCAA home playoff victory in 15 seasons.

It was UST's second five-game tourney win at home in six days as they captured the MIAC playoff championship last Saturday over St. Benedict with a 15-13 final win.

Tessa Prati and Katie Johnson each had 15 kills, Katie Pederson had eight blocks and Megan Nowicki had 32 digs for Central. Dosch had 21 kills, Wetzel had 18 kills and 25 digs and Katie Kremer added 44 digs for the Tommies, who hit .315 over the final three games.

-- Courtesy St. Thomas