Nov. 21, 2008

Courtesy of Lewis

ALLENDALE, Mich. - The 2008 Lewis women's volleyball season will be remembered for a third straight conference title, a perfect home record and 31 victories. But the No. 23 Flyers' quest for more came to an end on Friday morning after a 25-19, 25-17, 25-20 loss to Northern Kentucky in the first round of the NCAA Midwest Regional.

After getting bounced in the first round of the Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament last Friday, Northern Kentucky played like a team on a mission. The Norse dominated in hitting percentage (.340-.087), kills (47-25) and digs (41-26).

The Flyers held a 9-8 lead in the opening set until four straight points by the Norse. The run featured two kills by Kim Nemcek and then back-to-back aces by Chelsea Clark. The Flyers scored two straight to get with one at 11-10, but an 8-2 Norse run followed to all but put the game away.

Things stayed the same in set two, with the Norse taking leads of 4-0 and 12-5 before winning 25-17. Set three was more of the same with Northern Kentucky jumping out to a 7-0 lead. The Flyers got within one at 13-12 before NKU responded with three straight points to take the momentum back.

Junior Sara deBuhr (Urbandale, Iowa/Urbandale) led the Flyers offensively with nine kills and a .353 hitting percentage. She also tallied three block assists. Junior Stephanie Sagat (Darien, Ill./Hinsdale South) finished with seven kills. Junior Kim Richards (Evergreen Park, Ill./Mother McAuley) added five kills, two aces and two solo blocks.

Northern Kentucky improves to 28-7 and will play the winner of Saginaw Valley State and Michigan Tech on Saturday.

The Flyers finish the season 31-8, the first back-to-back 30 win seasons in 20 years.