Nov. 12, 2009

St. Louis, Mo., November 12, 2009 - The No. 8 Carthage College Lady Reds volleyball team used a balanced attack to defeat Simpson College, 3-0 (25-18, 25-16, 25-21), in the opening round of the 2009 NCAA Central Regional on Thursday, Nov. 12, at the WU Field House in St. Louis, Mo.

Carthage did not have any individual record double-digit kills, but it posted a team-hitting percentage of .263 while holding Simpson to a .118 attack percentage. Simpson sophomore Megan Dunlavy led all players with 13 kills, hitting .462.

The Lady Reds took advantage of 12 Simpson errors in the opening set to grab a 25-18 win. Carthage hit just .147 in the opening frame, but Simpson was held to a .024 hitting percentage with eight kills.

Carthage maintained its momentum in the second set, opening the frame on a 7-0 run on the way to a nine-point, 25-16 victory. Sophomore outside hitter Michelle Madeja led the Lady Reds with four kills in the second set and Carthage hit .306 as a team with 12 kills to just one attack error.

The third set began as a back and forth affair with the score tied, 13-13, midway through the action. Rachel Swoboda notched a kill to break the tie and put her team back in command, beginning a 7-2 Carthage College scoring run. Simpson narrowed its third-set deficit to just two points, 21-19, thanks to a kill from Whitney Oviatt, but the Storm were unable to pull any closer as Carthage clinched the win on a double block by sophomore Jordan Burkholder and Madeja.

Three Carthage hitters finished the match with at least seven kills, Swoboda (seven), sophomore Lauren Dembkowski (seven) and Madeja (eight). Swoboda was the most efficient attacker, tallying her seven kills on just 19 attacks with no errors to hit .368.

Sophomore setter Drewann Pancratz led Carthage with 21 assists, and also posted a team-high 12 digs. The Lady Reds tallied eight team blocks and Burkholder finished with a team-high four block assists.

Carthage will face the Central Region No. 3 seed and 22nd-ranked Nebraska Wesleyan University in the NCAA Central Region semifinals on Friday, Nov. 13, at the WU Field House in St. Louis, Mo., at 4:30 p.m.