Truman 3, Queens (N.Y.) 0



MIAMI SHORES, Fla. - South Central Region Champion Truman advanced to the NCAA Division II Women's Volleyball Final Four with a 30-16, 30-26, 33-31 victory over Northeast Region Champion Queens (N.Y.).

Truman (36-0) jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead in the first game and extended the margin to 12-2 before Queens (31-6) got its second opportunity to serve. The game was never close from that point, as the Bulldogs rolled to a 30-16 victory. Sarah Shearman tallied five kills to lead the Truman in the frame.

The second game was a much tighter affair, with the squads swapping points until Queens took a 10-6 advantage. Truman tied the score at 14-14, and the teams continued to trade points until the Bulldogs gained a 21-19 edge. They would never relinquish the lead from that point, winning the second frame 30-26. Shearman and Jessica Sears led the Bulldogs' second-game attack, notching six kills each. Anna Bondarenko led the Knights with seven kills.

The third game began in much the same fashion as the second, with the squads exchanging points before Truman gained a slight 9-6 advantage. The Bulldogs held the lead for a time but could not expand their three-point margin, and Queens tied the score at 17-17. Play was extremely tight from that juncture, with a number of ties. Truman faced two match-point opportunities, with the Knights staving off both. The Bulldogs finally pulled out the game three victory on their third match point, as Sears blasted a kill to lift her squad into the Final Four.

"I told them they need to fight," Queens head coach Pascale Lubin said. "No one was really pushing hard. We got a lot closer in the second and third game, and I think if we maybe would have started fighting earlier we might have had a better chance."

Shearman finished the match with 17 kills and 12 digs for Truman, while teammate Sears recorded 15 kills and 16 digs. Christine Wagener dished out 52 assists for the Bulldogs, who as a team, were extremely efficient on offense, committing only 10 hitting errors in the match and posting a .387 team attack percentage.

"It's very exciting for us," said Sears. "It's awesome to have the crowd (parents) that traveled down to watch us play."

Anna Bondarenko posted 19 kills to lead Queens. Martha Whyte and Angela Lee had 11 digs each, and Cassidy Mariano tallied 39 assists. The Knights recorded a .166 team attack percentage for the match.

Next up for Truman will be the winner of the Nebraska-Kearney and Cal State-San Bernardino match. The teams will square off at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, December 3, at Barry University's Health & Sports Center.

-- Courtesy Barry University