Nov. 12, 2009

Courtesy of Mount Union

(HUNTINGDON, PA)--Mount Union beat Lebanon Valley (PA) College 3-1 (17-25, 26-24, 25-23, 25-12) in the first round of the NCAA Division III Volleyball Tournament Thursday in the Mid-Atlantic Regional at Juniata (PA) College in Huntingdon, PA.

The win was the Purple Raiders first NCAA win in school history and moves them to 23-6 overall and to Friday's second round against the winner of a match between No. 1 in the nation Juniata and Cabrini.

Lebanon Valley, in its second straight NCAA Tournament appearance, ends its season with a record of 31-3.

All-American senior outside hitter Melissa Mahnke (North Royalton/North Royalton) had a match-high 18 kills to go along with 18 digs.

Senior middle hitter Sarah Parker (Geneva/Geneva) posted 12 kills while junior Monica Hupertz (Willoughby Hills/Beaumont) and freshman Anna Gabelt (Alliance/Marlington) both had season-high kill totals with 10 and six respectively.

Junior Katie Kmieck (Lakewood/Lakewood) also aided the offense with a season-best 51 assists.

Defensively, junior Sarah Dean (Strongsville/Walsh Jesuit) had 25 digs, while senior Nicole Baka (Streetsboro/Streetsboro) had 16.

Lebanon Valley ran out to am 11-2 lead in the first set and went on to the 25-17 win.

In fact, the Dutchmen held a 22-17 lead in the second set when the Purple Raiders rallied to score four-straight points then fought off set point on two occasions to score a 27-25 win.

Trailing 17-15 in the third set, Mount Union scored five of the next six points to go up 20-18 then held on for the 25-23 victory.

The Raiders never trailed in the fourth set and led by as many as 22-11 in a deciding 25-12 victory.

The winner of the regional advances to the National Finals held next weekend at John Carroll University in University Heights, Ohio.

2009 NCAA Division III Mid-Atlantic Regional
Juniata College (Huntington, PA)

Thursday, November 12
Eastern (PA) d. Frostburg State (MD), 3-1
Haverford (PA) d. Richard Stockton (NJ), 3-0
Mount Union d. Lebanon Valley (PA), 3-1
Juniata (PA) vs. Cabrini (PA), 8 pm

Friday, November 13
Eastern vs. Haverford, 4:30 pm
Mount Union vs. Juniata/Cabrini winner, 7 pm

Saturday, November 14
Regional Final, 7 pm