Nov. 13, 2009

Courtesy St. Thomas (MN) Athletics

The 14th-ranked Tommie volleyball team scored a 3-0 win over Luther College in Friday's semifinal match at the NCAA Regional Tournament in Oshkosh, Wis. St. Thomas advanced to the region finals for the third time in five seasons.

Coach Thanh Pham's team (26-7) won 25-18, 27-25, 25-20 to eliminate the Norse (16-12).

Tori Jones had three blocks and 13 kills and hit .478; Jill Osborne had 10 kills and hit .533; Kyley Crotty had nine kills, 14 digs, two aces and three blocks; Emily Foster had 30 assists, 12 digs, five kills and two blocks; Kaitlin Wachter had nine digs and nine assists; and Molly Staton had three aces.

Luther, coached by former-Tommie All-American setter Jane Gibbs, was making its first NCAA playoff trip. The Norse rallied to knock out 15th-ranked St. Ben's on Thursday.

The Tommies scored 11 consecutive points in set one to break open a close battle. They rallied from a 22-20 deficit in set two for the 27-25 victory, and used a 4-1 run to close out the match and claim the third set, 25-20.

The Tommies will play at 7 p.m. Saturday and face the winner of the 7 p.m. match between No.-2 rated Oshkosh and No. 16-ranked Eau Claire. They imporved to 7-4 in NCAA playoff matches in five seasons under Pham.

UST lost a five-set match at Oshkosh on Oct. 17, with a 15-12 score in the deciding set.