Nov. 11, 2010

The Flying Dutch opened NCAA play Thursday with a regional first round sweep of the University of Chicago in Springfield, Ohio, 25-12, 25-22, 25-15.

Coach Becky Schmidt's Dutch extended their winning streak to 20 consecutive matches. Their last loss occurred on Sept. 18th on the same Wittenberg court.

Hope (27-4) advances to Friday's semi-finals against the winner of a match being played later tonight between host Wittenberg and Ohio Northern.

In Friday's other first round matches, rival Calvin defeated Otterbein, Ohio in three sets, 25-21, 25-19, 25-14, while Heidelberg, Ohio topped Greenville, Ill. in four sets, 25-15, 23-25, 25-15, 25-18.

In the first set, Hope took command of the match quickly, opening a 6-2 lead to a 14-2 advantage with Traci Baker serving the eight points. Hope had five service aces in the opening set, led by Baker's three. Chicago had eight errors on 23 attempts for a negative attack percentage.

Hope never trailed in the second although it took a late run to put away the win. Hope's three-point lead was cut to one 23-22, but senior Kara VandeGuchte gotr back-to-back kills to give the Flying Dutch the win.

In the third set Chicago gained an early lead, but Hope went ahead to stay when senior Carrie Lehocky came off the bench to score three straight points, putting Hope ahead 7-6. The teams were not seperated by more than two points with Hope leading 11-10 when Traci Baker went on the second long run of the match. The Flying Dutch scored eight straight points, six by Baker, including her fourth service ace, and never looked back.

Jacie Fiedler and Kara Vandeguchte each had 10 kills while setter Greer Bratschie was credited with 28 assists. Finishing with double-digit digs were Jessica Maier 11, Sara DeWeerdt 10, and Traci Baker 10. The Flying Dutch finished with eight service aces.