Nov. 19, 2009

CALIFORNIA,Pa. - The two-time defending regional champion California University of Pennsylvania volleyball team opened the 2009 NCAA Division II Atlantic Regional Tournament by cruising to a 3-0 sweep (25-15, 25-15, 25-6) over Chowan (N.C.) on Thursday night at Hamer Hall.

With the win, the Vulcans (34-5) advance to face fifth-seeded Wheeling Jesuit in the second round in a rematch of last year's regional championship match. The match between Cal U and Wheeling Jesuit is set for tomorrow, Friday, Nov. 20, in Hamer Hall at 7:30 p.m. Meanwhile, the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA)-champion Hawks end their season with a 29-9 overall record.

Cal U posted one of its best offensive performances of the year against Chowan, finishing with a .492 team hitting percentage. Senior outside hitter Joanna Nist (Rockwood, Pa./Rockwood), who was selected the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) West Athlete of the Year earlier in the day, posted a team-high 12 kills on .556 hitting. Classmate Ludmila Amaral (Sao Paulo, Brazil/Afonso Schimidt) finished with 10 kills on only 12 attempts for a season-high .833 hitting percentage.

Defensively, senior Ashley Moore (Yorktown, Va./Grafton) led the Vulcans with nine kills, while junior Julie Paronish (Hastings, Pa./Northern Cambria) collected seven digs. Moore also added three service aces, while Paronish and sophomore Sara McMullen (State College, Pa./State College) each finished with two service aces.

Senior All-American setter Renata da Silva (Sao Paulo, Brazil/Colegio Ateneu) directed the offense with 27 assists and also recorded three blocks. Amaral led all players with six blocks (two solo).

In the other first-round games on Thursday, sixth-seeded Edinboro rallied for a 3-2 win over Clarion; Lock Haven topped Mercyhurst in a 3-1 victory; and Wheeling Jesuit swept Gannon, 3-0.