Nov. 21, 2009

Courtesy of Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS- The ninth-ranked University of Indianapolis volleyball team (38-1) collected its first-ever regional championship trophy with a 25-16, 25-21, 25-13 win versus arch-rival Lewis at the Ruth Lilly Center Saturday afternoon.  As the Midwest Region’s top seed, the Greyhounds held the second-seeded Flyers to a minuscule .047 hitting percentage to advance to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight Dec. 3-5.

As the only team to defeat the Greyhounds this season, Lewis came into the match with 32 wins and a No. 11 national ranking, but the Flyers ultimately had little to offer the Hounds Saturday.  Lewis hit nearly 200 points below its season average, hampered by a -.047 output in the third set.

The Greyhounds kept the Flyers at arm’s length throughout the opening set.  With the score 16-13 Hounds, Indianapolis stepped on the gas with a 9-3 run to put Flyers in the 1-0 hole.

Though the Hounds were never in danger of dropping a set, the second frame was the most competitive of the afternoon, evident by its nine ties.  Junior Lyndsay Callahan (Chicago, Ill./Marist) was the Greyhounds’ go-to option in the set, as she led all players with five kills and 13 attack attempts.

With the Hounds on the brink of a regional championship, the Midwest’s top two teams traded points through the early going of the third set, but after earning a slight 9-8 edge, UIndy pulled away with an 11-3 rally that culminated with a Lewis timeout.

The Flyers came out of the break with renewed purpose, scoring the next three points to make it 20-13.  With every point magnified by the circumstances, UIndy head coach Jody Butera wisely called a timeout  to calm her squad.

The tactic proved effective, as the Greyhounds did not allow their guest to score again, ending the match on a 5-0 run that included a pair of kills from junior Cheneta Morrison (Fort Wayne, Ind./Ft. Wayne Snider).

The win not only earned Indianapolis its first regional crown, but also marked first regional championship for a Great Lakes Valley Conference school this decade.

Callahan led the way in the regional final with 12 kills on 32 attempts to go with seven digs.  Morrison hit .500 for the match to supplement her 27 assists and 12 digs with eight kills.  Turner finished with a match-high 16 digs, Hannah Kelzer (Bloomington, Ind./Bloomington South) chipped in three block assists, and Amy Oldenburg (Elkhart, Ind./Elkhart Memorial) set a new personal best with 14 digs.

Four Greyhounds made the 12-player all-tournament team, including Callahan, Kristina Kerrigan (Muncie, Ind./Muncie Central), Morrison and Turner.

UIndy is the first team to advance to the Elite Eight, as the other seven regional finals are scheduled for later today or tomorrow.  The Division II national championship will be decided Dec. 3-5 at a campus site yet to be determined.  The Hounds will face the winner of the Central Region, with Concordia-St. Paul and Metro State facing off this evening.  Concordia, the two-time defending D-II national champion, brings an NCAA-record 70-match win streak into play tonight.

Midwest Regional All-Tournament Team
Arielle Goodson, MH, Ferris St.
Ashlee Crowder, MH, Hillsdale
Clara Leutheuser, MH, Hillsdale
Jaclyn Carnago, MH, Saginaw Valley St.
Kait Harris, S, Saginaw Valley St.
Ashlee Lindish, L, Lewis
Rachel Ruedi, S, Lewis
Lauren Seliga, OH, Lewis
Lyndsay Callahan, OH, UIndy
Kristina Kerrigan, OH, UIndy
Cheneta Morrison, S, UIndy
Kyleigh Turner, L, UIndy