Nov. 13, 2010

ATLANTA, Ga. - Cal Lutheran volleyball knocked off its second straight Texas State team in as many days after defeating Southwestern University in four sets in the NCAA Tournament on Saturday. CLU will face nationally ranked No. 1 host Emory in the regional finals on Sunday, Nov. 14 at 1 p.m. PST.

The team's offense carried the load hitting .383 as a unit, led by a 23-kill performance from Allison Kerr. Megan Thorpe and Casy McWhirk combined for 33 kills to only three errors, while Rachel Smith hit .412 with seven kills, and led the team with three aces and 21 digs.

Cal Lutheran cruised to a 2-0 cushion after earning set wins by 25-15 and 25-14 margins. As a team Cal Lutheran hit .533 and .500 in those frames, respectively while holding the opposition to just .281 and .061.

Southwestern found its offensive stride in the third set hitting .341 matching Cal Lutheran with 18 kills in the frame. In the frame CLU fought off three set points including two following kills from Mc Whirk and Thorpe, but SWU's Rachel Thibodeau and Allison Stubbs recorded the final two points.

The Pirates duo led their team combining for 26 of the team's 50 kills in the match. Stubbs recorded a double-double with 15 kills and 14 digs, and led the team with two aces.

It was a battle of scoring runs in the fourth set as the Regals earned six straight points on Kerr's serve to take a 16-12 lead. Thibodeau served five straight shortly thereafter to recapture a 20-17 margin for the Pirates.

Tied 22-22 and following sideouts by both squads, Rachel Smith served the final two points with Kerr's 23rd finishing the match.

Following the Cal Lutheran (29-3) victory in the first semifinal, Emory (33-4) went on to defeat Washington & Lee in four sets in the other semi.

The top two teams of the region will meet tomorrow with the winner advancing to the Elite Eight set to start on Friday, Nov. 19 at Washington-St. Louis (MO).