Nov. 12, 2010

Courtesy of Carthage College Athletics

KENOSHA, Wis - The Carthage College women's volleyball team (31-7, 6-1 College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin), ranked seventh in the final, regular-season American Volleyball Coaches Association NCAA Division III poll and the second-seeded team in the regional tournament, opened play in the NCAA Division III Women's Volleyball Championship on Friday, Nov. 12 with a 3-0 win over seventh-seeded and No. 22 Wisconsin-Oshkosh (24-14) in the regional quarterfinals at Carthage's Tarble Arena in Kenosha, Wis. The Lady Reds' winning set scores over the Titans were 25-15, 25-15 and 25-11.

Wisconsin-Oshkosh, a semifinalist team at last year's NCAA Division III Women's Volleyball Championship, ended the season on an eight-game losing streak. The Titans' last win came at the hands of Cornell College on Oct. 23 at the Elmhurst College Tournament. The crowd of 1200 set a Carthage women's volleyball attendance record, passing a mark of 900 set versus Carroll University in the 2007 regional-championship quarterfinals at the Carthage Physical Education Center, now Tarble Arena.

In the win over UW-Oshkosh, Carthage outside hitter Michelle Madeja (Jr., Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley) collected 12 kills with a .435 attack percentage, while middle blocker Cindy Cavanagh (Jr., Naperville, Ill./Aurora-Waubonsie Valley) had nine kills with a .471 mark. Middle blocker Jordan Burkholder (Jr., Rockford, Ill./Christian Life) had seven kills with seven blocks (1 solo, 6 assisted). Aleisha Bagin led the Titans with a match-high 16 kills.

In the other quarterfinal matches, fifth-seeded Wartburg College (24-15) swept fourth-seeded and No. 16 Wisconsin-Whitewater (28-9), 3-0, with winning set scores of 25-17, 25-23 and 25-17; top-seeded and No. 3 Washington University (Mo., 32-3) swept eighth-seeded Beloit College (19-12), 3-0, with winning scores of 25-18, 25-13 and 25-11; and No. 14 Wisconsin-Platteville (32-3) shut out sixth-seeded Dominican University (Ill., 26-10), 3-0, with winning scores of 25-18, 25-20 and 25-16. Carthage will play Wisconsin-Platteville on Saturday, Nov. 13 in a 7 p.m. regional-semifinal match, with Wartburg taking on Washington (Mo.) at 4:30 p.m. The Sunday, Nov.14 regional-championship match gets underway at 4 p.m. Carthage is making its sixth NCAA appearance.

In the first quarterfinal match on Friday, Wartburg College's Kamille Van Natta led the Knights with 11 kills and a .222 attack percentage, while Kelly Niemann had nine kills with a .750 mark (9-0-12). Caitlin Hayden led Wisconsin-Whitewater with 11 kills and a .269 attack percentage, and Katy Krjnak had 10 kills and a .562 mark.

In the Washington (Mo.) win over Beloit, Meghan Byrne led the Bears with 13 kills and a .480 attack percentage (13-1-25), while Lauren Budde and Drew Hargrave had 11 kills each, Budde with a .500 attack percentage and Hargrave at .455. Laura Toth led Beloit with eight kills.

Melissa Hillebrand led Wisconsin-Platteville in its win over Dominican (Ill.) with 17 kills and a staggering .895 attack percentage (17 kills and no errors in 19 attempts). Melanie Bailiff had eight kills with a .389 mark, while Emily Kaiser collected six kills and five block assists. Setter Ali Sikic averaged 12.67 assists per set. Claire Dezelski topped Dominican (Ill.) with 12 kills.