Hazekamp's gutsy play leads Hope to Great Lakes regional final berth
ELMHURST, Ill. -- Sophomore Lauren Hazekamp sprinted toward the scorer's table on the opposite side of her net, then flipped the ball back over her head.
Her timely save kept the ball in play for Hope, so that the Flying Dutch could earn match point on an Otterbein hitting error.
On the second match point, senior Mari Schoolmaster buried a kill to secure a 20-25, 25-15, 25-21, 25-22 win for second-ranked Hope and a berth in Saturday's Great Lakes regional final.
The Flying Dutch (31-2 overall) are one win from clinch a spot in the NCAA Division III championship they are hosting next week at DeVos Fieldhouse.
Hope will face either regional host Elmhurst or Washington (Mo.). The Flying Dutch defeated both teams earlier this season.
Otterbein closed with a 27-8 record.
Hazekamp said her drive led her to make a gutsy and successful retrieval of an errant dig.
Senior Courtney Earles said Hazekamp's dig gave the Flying Dutch the final push they needed to clinch their second regional final in school history and first since 2009.
Junior Jenna Grasmeyer topped Hope with 18 kills. Earles finished with nine.
Hazekamp, who is in her first season as a starter, recorded a match-high 39 assists. She also was second with 15 digs and tied for second with 1.5 blocks.
The Flying Dutch needed every play to grind out a win against a team they swept earlier this season.
Hope hit .170 as a team while Otterbein finished .007.