Nov. 12, 2010

* Courtesy of Cal Lutheran Athletics

ATLANTA, Ga. - With a 3-0 sweep over Hardin-Simmons (TX) in the first round of the 2010 NCAA Division III Volleyball Championship on Friday the Cal Lutheran volleyball team advances to face Southwestern (TX) in a second-round match on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. PST. The match between the second-seed Regals and third-seed Southwestern can be viewed live online as CLU tries to move on to the regional championship game.

CLU jumped out to an early 4-0 lead to start the match including three kills from Allison Kerr and another by Megan Thorpe. Hardin-Simmons responded with five straight points of its own to take a one point lead. The Regals would eventually snag a 9-8 lead and never trail the rest of the way en route to a 25-15 first set victory.

In the second set the Regals took a 12-11 lead after a HSU attack error and controlled the set the rest of the way. CLU scored three consecutive points after an Erin Exline kill, a HSU attack error and an ace from Jacki Richards to make the lead 16-12. Kerr put the finishing touch on the set receiving the assist from Jackie Russell to secure the second set 25-20.

With 38 assists for the match, Russell has set the new CLU record for assists in a season. The sophomore has 1,170 assists over the 2010 campaign and she passed Liz Martinez's mark of 1,167 set in 1995.

Like the first two sets of the match, CLU began to pull away midway through the third. Trailing 10-9, CLU reeled off four straight points and went on to outscore the Cowgirls 16-8 the rest of the way for a 25-18 match win to advance to the second round on Saturday.

Kerr finished with match-highs with 14 kills and a .571 attack percentage. Thorpe and Casy McWhirk each added nine kills and tallied nine and seven kills, respectively.

CLU held Hardin-Simmons to a .022 team attack percentage and Christine Sas was the HSU kill leader with eight on 26 attempts. The Regals missed 14 serves but did collect eight aces with Thorpe serving three, Russell and Richards chipping in with two and Kerr accounting for one.

Cal Lutheran (28-3) has now extended its program-best win streak to 28 matches and has not lost since Sept. 4 in a four-set defeat against No. 2 Wittenberg (OH). The Regals, who are ranked No. 20 in the latest AVCA top-25 poll will face No. 21 Southwestern in the second round on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. PST with a broadcast available live online.