Nov. 21, 2010

Courtesy of GVSU Athletics

Hillsdale, Mich. -
In a classic five-set battle for the Midwest Regional Championship, #12 Grand Valley State held off #19 Indianapolis by a 3-2 score (15-25, 26-24, 25-16, 23-25, 15-9). With the win, the Lakers move on to the NCAA Elite Eight for the eighth time in program history and advance to the national tournament with an overall record of 26-6.

The Lakers advance to the NCAA Elite Eight for the eighth time in program history, also earning an Elite Eight berth in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, and 2008. GVSU won the Division II National Championship in 2005 and advanced to the Final Four in the team's last appearance in the national tournament in 2008.

After falling behind 2-0 in the first set, the Lakers scored three straight points on a kill from freshman Stacey Catalano, a combined block from seniors Rebeccah Rapin and Krysta Kornack, and a kill from Rapin to take a 3-2 lead. Indianapolis responded to take an 8-5 lead, which the Lakers answered with a kill from sophomore Eno Umoh and a Greyhound hitting error to make the score, 8-7, in Indy's favor. Indianapolis ran off a 4-1 run at that point to take a 12-8 lead, prompting a timeout from GVSU head coach Deanne Scanlon.

The Lakers cut the deficit to 14-12 with consecutive kills from Catalano and Kornack, but the Greyhounds scored the next three points for a 17-12 lead. Rapin's kill stopped the run at 17-13, but Indianapolis scored the next six points before the Lakers answered with a kill from freshman Abby Ebels. The Greyhounds closed out the set by scoring two of the final three points and winning the frame by a 25-15 total. In the opening stanza, Indianapolis hit .262 with 15 kills, while GVSU connected at just an .023 clip and eight attack errors. Coming in as the third-best blocking team in the country, the Lakers were outblocked by a 5-1 margin in the first set.

Indianapolis led 4-2 early in the second stanza, but Grand Valley State tied the score at points 5, 6, and 7 before taking its first lead of the set at 8-7 on a kill from junior Nicole Whiddon. The Greyhounds regained a 10-9 lead before a putaway from Rapin tied the score again at 10-10. After tying the score again at 11-11 on a kill from Catalano, Indianapolis took a 14-11 lead with back-to-back kills and a double block. GVSU rallied to score three straight points on another Rapin kill, a Greyhound attack error, and a service ace from sophomore setter Olivia Kohler.

Trailing 18-16, the Lakers ran off four straight points on three straight errors from Indianapolis, with Rapin in on both blocks, joined by Curtis on one block and Whiddon on the other rejection. Rapin followed with a kill to put Grand Valley State ahead by a 20-18 advantage. The Greyhounds scored the next three points before a kill from Catalano knotted the score at 21-21. Indianapolis then received consecutive kills from Kourtney Crawford to up the advantage to a pair at 23-21. GVSU scored the next three points on a solo rejection by Ebels, a double block from Catalano and Rapin, and a kill from Catalano. The combined block that featured Rapin was her 516th career block, making her the school's all-time leader in total blocks.

From there, with GVSU ahead 24-23, the Greyhounds tied the score with a kill, but Kornack responded with a kill of her own and Kohler served up her second ace of the set, ending the frame at 26-24. The Lakers hit better in the second set (.171, 15 kills), but totaled five blocks and were only blocked by Indianapolis twice. UIndy hit .159 in the frame with eight errors. Kornack totaled four kills in seven swings without an error and Rapin put down five kills with four block assists.

Grand Valley State opened up a 5-0 lead in the third set, but the advantage was in part thanks to errors by Indianapolis. The Greyhounds had four attack errors and a bad set during the first five points, with Rapin garnering a solo block to make the score 5-0. UIndy's errors continued from there, with an attack error and a ball handling error sandwiched around a Catalano kill. Rapin and Kornack followed with consecutive kills before a Laker service error ended the 10-0 run to start the set.

Kornack slammed home another kill and after another Greyhound attack error, Grand Valley State led 14-3. The Lakers kept their foot on the gas with a kill from Whiddon and a solo block from Rapin to up the score to 16-4 midway through the set. Curtis and Rapin then delivered back-to-back kills before Rapin and Whiddon combined for a double block that forced Indianapolis head coach Jody Butera to use a timeout with GVSU owning a 19-6 lead, its largest advantage of the set.

Rapin tallied two kills in four points to push the score out to 21-11 and two more Indianapolis errors gave the Lakers at 24-13 lead. After the Greyhounds scored three straight points, UIndy committed a serving error, ending the set at 25-16. Grand Valley State hit .219 with 10 kills and just three errors in the stanza, while Indianapolis committed 11 hitting errors and connected at just an .028 attack mark.

The Greyhounds started out with a 5-1 advantage in the fourth set on four kills and a Laker hitting error. Indianapolis extended the lead to 8-2 before a kill from Rapin and a double block from Kornack and Umoh made the score 8-4. The duo combined for another block, the Greyhounds had a bad set, and Kohler served up another ace to cut the deficit to 8-7. Umoh's solo block tied the score at 8-8 before a service error put UIndy back on top, 9-8.

Leading 10-9, Indianapolis scored four of the next five points for a 14-10 lead. Rapin's kill made the score 15-12 before the Greyhounds notched four straight points on a pair of kills and two GVSU hitting error to lead 19-12. The Lakers battled back with four points in a row on a kill from Catalano, two consecutive solo blocks from Rapin, and an ace from freshman Sacha Gill to make the score 20-16.

Grand Valley State responded with kills from Rapin and Umoh around a double block from Umoh and Catalano, cutting the UIndy lead to 20-19. The Greyhounds stopped the run with a kill, but Kornack answered right back with a kill of her own to make the score, 21-20. Catalano then put away a kill to tie the set at 21-21, but two Laker hitting errors gave the lead back to Indianapolis at 23-22. Trailing 24-22, Curtis delivered a big kill before the Greyhounds totaled a double block to end the set at 25-23 and send the match to the tie-breaking fifth set. GVSU totaled the same amount of kills and errors (12) for a .000 hitting percentage, while UIndy hit at a .108 clip with 12 kills. The Lakers continued to block well though, recording seven total blocks in just the fourth set.

GVSU opened up a 4-1 lead after a Greyhound hitting error, a double block from Rapin and Whiddon and another kill from Rapin. Catalano put down a kill from the left side before Indianapolis tallied a kill, making the score 5-2. Two wild points immediately followed with UIndy winning both rallies and cutting the lead to 5-4 before another Laker kill from Catalano. Kornack and Rapin then combined for a block and a ball-handling error the Greyhounds put GVSU ahead 8-4, with the teams switching sides at the midway point of the set.

Indianapolis then called a timeout after committing another hitting error, which put the Lakers on top, 9-4. The Greyhounds put down a kill, but Kornack responded with a kill to put GVSU up by a 10-5 score. UIndy scored two points in a row before another attack error allowed the Lakers to maintain an 11-7 advantage. Kornack's kill on the next point gave GVSU a 12-7 lead, while Curtis put down a solo block and put the Lakers up 13-7. Umoh's kill made the score 14-8 and Kohler then delivered her only kill of the match, a quick pass over the net that found the floor and gave the Lakers a thrilling 15-9 win and the Midwest Regional Tournament championship.

In a tremendous five-set match, the teams were very similar on the stat sheet. GVSU hit .122 with 54 kills, while UIndy hit .122 with 62 putaways. The Lakers owned a 20-10 edge in blocking, while the team's 20 total blocks are the most they've had in a single match this season. Indianapolis led in digs (85-75) and assists (59-51), but Grand Valley State recorded the only four aces of the match.

Rapin put together one of the top performances of the season and her career, totaling a double-double with match-highs of 16 kills and 13 total blocks, the most blocks in a single match in her career. She had four solo blocks and nine assists, giving her 524 total blocks, again the highest total in GVSU history. Kornack delivered 12 kills, five block assists, and five digs, as both Rapin and Kornack were named to the All-Tournament Team.

Catalano supplied 11 kills, eight digs, and four block assists, while Curtis totaled 17 digs, seven kills, and two rejections. Gill was also named to the All-Tournament Team after picking up a match-best 28 digs, which ties her career-high. Umoh notched five blocks and four kills, while senior setter Meghan Scanlon tallied a double-double with 30 assists and 10 digs and Kohler provided 18 assists and three service aces, along with the match's final point and her only kill of the day.