ST. LOUIS -- No. 8 Carthage College (31-6, 7-0 College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin) opened play in the NCAA Division III Women's Volleyball Championship on Friday with a 3-0 sweep of Edgewood College (21-14) in a regional-quarterfinal match at the Washington University Field House. 

Carthage's winning set scores against Edgewood were 25-13, 25-12 and 25-16. 

“It feels great to get the first match out of the way,” said Carthage coach Leanne Ulmer.  “You can't get to the second one without winning the first one.”

Also on Carthage's side of the regional bracket, CCIW-member and No. 16 Elmhurst College (31-5) outlasted Cornell College (28-6), 3-2, in Friday's opening match. The Bluejays' winning set scores over the Rams were 25-17, 20-25, 18-25, 25-21 and 15-10.

Carthage will take on Elmhurst at 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

This will be the fourth meeting this year between the Lady Reds and the Bluejays. Carthage won a regular-season CCIW match at Elmhurst, 3-1, on Sept. 27, lost a 3-2 contest on Oct. 8 at the Wisconsin-Platteville Tournament and won a 3-2 match on Nov. 5 at Tarble Arena to win the CCIW Women's Volleyball Tournament.   

“It's strange playing Elmhurst again,” admitted Ulmer. “We just saw them a few days ago. They're a great team, and we know each other very well. Not a lot is going to change this time around, and we all know what each other is going to do. It's just a matter of who executes the best.  It should be a great match.”

In the win against Edgewood, Carthage broke an 8-8 tie in the first set with six unanswered points to take a 14-8 lead.  After the Eagles pulled to within four, 17-13, the Lady Reds ran off the next eight points for a 25-13 victory. 

In the second set, Carthage led by three, 12-9, before scoring 11 unanswered points to take a 23-9 lead, en route to 25-12 decision. 

The Lady Reds broke open the third-and-final set at the 6-5 mark, running off seven consecutive points to go up by eight, 13-5. 

Carthage went on to win the final set by nine, 25-16. 

Lauren Dembkowski led the Lady Reds with 11 kills and a .235 attack percentage.  Jordan Burkholder had six kills and hit .333 with four block assists, while Michelle Madeja added six kills and four service aces. Setter Drewann Pancratz 8.33 assists per set.  Jessica Martin topped the Eagles with 11 kills.