Nov. 19, 2009

INDIANAPOLIS- In the last of four first-round matches, the ninth-ranked University of Indianapolis volleyball team earned a straight set win over Michigan Tech - 25-20, 25-19, 25-20 - to advance in the NCAA D-II Midwest Regional Thursday night. As the region's top seed, the Greyhounds are first-time hosts of the eight-team volleyball regional, as Saginaw Valley State, Lewis and Hillsdale also advanced.

The first two sets featured just two ties, as the Greyhounds otherwise led throughout. The UIndy offense had its most efficient set in the opener, compiling a .290 hitting percentage. That tally was bolstered by two kills from Cheneta Morrison (Fort Wayne, Ind./Ft. Wayne Snider) as the All-GLVC setter sneaked a pair of second-hit kills passed the Huskie defense. In addition, GLVC Freshman of the Year Kristina Kerrigan (Muncie, Ind./Muncie Central) killed six balls on nine swings in the first set alone.

Kerrigan cooled off a bit in the second, but another all-conference performer for the Greyhounds setted up, as junior Lyndsay Callahan (Chicago, Ill./Marist) paced the team with five second-set kills. Three of those kills came on consecutive plays to help the Hounds open up an eight-point early in the frame. After the Hounds built a 12-4 advantage, Michigan Tech did not get closer than four the rest of the way, as Indianapolis went on to take a two-set lead and push MTU to the brink.

Tech would grab its first lead of the match in the third set - by far the most competitive of the night. The Hounds looked ready to cruise to the sweep after earning a 6-1 lead, but the Huskies fought back to tie it at 8-8. A back-and-forth ensued, until a four-point run from the home team made it 20-15.

The cushion was all the Hounds needed, as late rally lifted secured UIndy the win to up its already program-ready win total to 36 as well as sending it to its third straight trip to the NCAA second round.

Kerrigan led all players with 13 kills and 30 attack attempts. Freshman Kourtney Crawford (Indianapolis, Ind./Bishop Chatard) finished with a .353 hitting percentage to go with seven kills and four block assists, Morrison amassed 31 assists and 15 digs, while Kyleigh Turner (Muncie, Ind./Cowan) , Kara McCarthy (Greenfield. Ind./Scecina) and #Amy Oldenburg combined for 28 digs.

UIndy (36-1) is scheduled to face the fifth-seeded Hillsdale Chargers (24-7), a team it eliminated in the opening round of the 2007 NCAAs. Hillsdale, the GLIAC Tournament champs, took out fourth-seeded Northern Michigan in the longest of the four matched Thursday. Click here to view complete results from today's first round as well as a schedule of matches for Friday.