Freund
CUP

CALIFORNIA, Pa. -- The Vulcans will play in their sixth consecutive Atlantic Regional Championship following a 3-0 win (25-10, 25-17, 25-17) against Edinboro at Hamer Hall on Friday night in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

With the victory, California (Pa.) volleyball team improves to 33-4 this season. The Vulcans, who have won 13 consecutive matches, will face second-seeded Wheeling Jesuit for the NCAA Atlantic Regional Championship Saturday night. The Cardinals have claimed 3-0 sweeps against Slippery Rock and Lock Haven in the tournament.

Junior Brandy Harris led all players with 11 kills and added seven digs in the victory. Kelly Fromknecht posted seven kills, while the trio of sophomore Molly Delaney and juniors Bridget Bielich and Meghan Franz each finished with five kills.

The tandem of sophomore Abbey Freund and senior Kortney Eshleman combined for 28 assists with Freund pacing the team with 17 assists. Delaney also tallied 11 digs and two service aces against the Fight Scots, while senior libero Sara McMullen finished with 10 digs.

In the first set, the Vulcans cruised to a 25-10 victory after registering a .647 hitting percentage behind five kills from Harris. In comparison, Edinboro hit at a minus-.192 clip after committing 10 hitting errors and three service errors. Leading 13-8, California (Pa.) scored seven-unanswered points with Franz serving. After the Fighting Scots stopped the rally, the Vulcans closed the set with a 5-0 run with Eshleman serving. Delaney collected six of the team's nine digs in the first set.

California (Pa.) jumped out to a 10-2 lead in the second set behind two blocks and seven attack errors by Edinboro. After the teams traded points, the Vulcans mounted a 5-2 rally to expand their lead to 19-9 on a kill by Bielich. California (Pa.) later claimed a 25-17 win in the second set behind four blocks (two solo) and seven combined kills from Bielich and Harris.

Leading 11-9 in the third set, the Vulcans used a 9-5 rally, capped by three-straight kills, to seize control of the set and take a 20-14 lead. After Edinboro stopped the run, California (Pa.) closed the set on a 5-2 rally with Franz serving to end the match. Harris and McMullen each posted six digs in the final set, while Franz and Delaney each recorded four digs.

Meanwhile, Edinboro finishes the season with a 23-9 overall record and has lost to California (Pa.) in the second round of the NCAA tournament in back-to-back seasons.