Wheeling Jesuit sweeps Slippery Rock
Ware records 12 kills and two kills to help the Cardinals advance
CALIFORNIA, Pa. -- Wheeling Jesuit swept Slippery Rock 3-0 in the opening round of the NCAA tournament Thursday afternoon.
Wheeling Jesuit (34-3) won the three-set match 25-13, 25-16, 25-20. Wheeling Jesuit (34-3) will play Lock Haven, Friday in the regional semifinals.
The Cardinals were led by WVIAC Player of the Year Allissa Ware, who made 12 kills and two blocks. Jenna Pew added a double-double of 12 kills and 17 assists in the victory.
Freshman outside hitter Kristy Lake led Slippery Rock with a match-high 12 kills. Junior opposite Sarah Cadwallader and senior outside hitter Kaylee Smith added six and three kills, respectively. Freshman setter Janna Reilly guided the attack with 23 assists. Earlier in the day the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference announced its postseason awards and Reilly was named the PSAC-West Freshman of the Year while Smith earned second team All-PSAC-West recognition.
Cadwallader, Reilly, junior middle hitter Hayley Wilson and senior middle hitter Lisa Bakaitis all tied for the team lead with three blocks each.
As a team, Wheeling Jesuit hit .268 for the match while Slippery Rock compiled an attack percentage of just .046.
Slippery Rock, which was making its first appearance in the NCAA tournament since 2008, started the match with 3-1 lead thanks in part to a kill from Smith and a block from Bakaitis and Lake. However, the lead would be short lived as Wheeling Jesuit proceeded to go on a 11-2 run to take a commanding 12-5 lead that eventually turned into a 25-13 victory.
Wheeling Jesuit to open up a 7-3 lead in the second set before Slippery Rock took seven of the games next 10 points to the set at 10-10. The comeback was led by two kills each from Cadwallader and Lake. SRU would keep things close for the remainder of the set, but was unable to grab the lead as WJU benefitted from a 10-5 run en route to a 25-16 victory in the second set and go up 2-0 on The Rock.
Wheeling Jesuit appeared ready to make quick work of the set when it opened up a 20-8 lead in the third set, but Slippery Rock would not quit even when it was faced with the eight-point deficit. The Rock went to work on trimming the lead with a kill from Lake, a block from the combination of Cadwallader and Wilson and finally an ace from Reilly which forced a WJU timeout with the score 20-15.