Nov. 21, 2008

Courtesy Indianapolis Athletics

ALLENDALE, Mich. - The University of Indianapolis volleyball team sqeeked out a thrilling five-set victory in the NCAA Division Midwest Regional Friday evening. After splitting two previous meetings with Northern Michigan this season, UIndy won the grudge match at Fieldhouse Arena 25-15, 25-21, 15-25, 20-25, 15-12. The win puts the Greyhounds in the regional semifinals for the second straight season.

Indianapolis (29-9) won the first two sets but allowed the Wildcats to get back in it as NMU controlled sets three and four to extend the match.

"The hardest thing about the NCAA Tournament is learning to survive and advance," said Assistant Coach Kyp Harasymowycz. "There's no time to relax when every team is tough."

Early in the contest, it appeared as though a sweep was eminent as the Greyhounds had little trouble jumping out to a 2-0 lead. UIndy out-hit the Wildcats .333 to .049 in the opening set and finished the frame on an 18-7 run to earn the early edge. In the second set, the Hounds used a 5-1 start to earn the initial cushion as NMU would get would get no closer than two the rest of the way.

The following two sets were nearly the mirror image of their predecessors. The Hounds hit a dismal -.036 in the third while the Wildcats used a 6-0 rally midway through to help lift them to the 25-15 win. NMU (20-12) later forced a fifth and final set with a 25-20 win as UIndy offense continued to struggle in the fourth.

UIndy went down 5-2 early in the fifth, but with a line-up of mostly freshmen through the majority of the frame, the Hounds did not relent. With the score knotted at 11, the Hounds won the race to 15 with a match-deciding 4-1 surge that included three kills for freshman Kristina Hefferan.

Hefferan finished with a team-high tying 11 kills in just three sets while hitting .409. The Yorkville, Ill. native was one of four Hounds with double-double kill total, but it was that total defensive effort that kept UIndy's head above water.

"We blocked well today against a very big team," added Harasymowycz. "Hannah (Kelzer) had some big blocks for us and Kyleigh (Turner) was digging everything in her zone."

Kelzer picked up a season-high five blocks in her first NCAA Tournament match while Turner totaled a match-high 32 digs.

Beth Robbins (49 assists, 12 digs), Cheneta Morrison (11 kills, 12 digs) and Lyndsay Callahan (10 kills, 13 digs) all notched double-doubles.

UIndy awaits the winner of the Grand Valley State/Northwood match. GVSU is the region's top seed and host school while Northwood earned the eighth and final spot in the regional field.