Nov. 19, 2010

Courtesy of Clarion Athletics

Ten different Clarion players recorded kills led by nine each from Hannah Heeter and Kaitlyn Anderson, as the Golden Eagles womens volleyball team cruised to a 3-0 win over Chowan (N.C.) in the opening round of the NCAA Division II Tournaments Atlantic Region Friday afternoon at Edinboro.

The top-seeded Golden Eagles will now face fourth-seeded Wheeling Jesuit, a 3-1 winner over Gannon, in the Regional semifinals at 5 p.m. Saturday at Edinboro.

Getting to the semifinals wasnt a problem for Clarion, which beat Chowan in straight sets 25-11, 25-16, 25-15 while hitting .436 (48 kills, 7 errors, 94 attempts) for the match.

I will take that kind of hitting any day of the week,” Clarions fourth-year head coach Jennifer Harrison said. We played really well and took advantage of what they were giving us. Our girls were effective with their attacking and put the balls in the right spots.”

Heeter hit a mind-boggling .818 (9-0-11) while Anderson hit .421 (9-1-19) and added a dig.

I was really happy with how Hannah played,” Harrison said. (Setter) Amanda (Gough) found her at the right times, and Hannah did a really nice job of pushing the ball to the right spots. She had a really good match.”

Nicole Andrusz and PSAC-West Athlete of the Year Kellie Bartman each chipped in with six kills with Andrusz hitting .857 (6-0-7) and Bartman .462 (6-0-13) while recording four digs. Rebecca Webb added five kills and three digs while hitting .364 (5-1-11).

Gough set up the Golden Eagles offense with 28 set assists, while Rhianon Brady paced the defense with 16 digs.

The win is the second NCAA Division II playoff win in school history for the Golden Eagles, who beat Lees-McRae in 2007.

Saturdays match with Wheeling Jesuit will mark the second time the schools have faced off this season. Wheeling handed Clarion one of its four losses 3-1 Oct. 14 at Clarion with the final two sets - which were split by the teams - going to extra points (27-25 Clarion and 32-30 Wheeling).

They are a really good all-around team,” Harrison said. We need to do a better job adjusting to the speed of their offense and a better job of serving and getting them out of system. They are a good ball control team and run fast. We also need to do a better job of putting the ball away and staying aggressive. We didnt do that the first time, and I have to give Wheeling credit for that. They played really well.”

NOTES - Clarions 30 wins are the second most in school history one behind the 31 (31-5) achieved by the 2002 team … The win was the 100th in Harrisons four years at Clarion (100-35) … Last weekend, Clarion won the PSAC Title for the first time since 1988 … The Golden Eagles won their first-ever PSAC-West title this year … The No. 1 seed is the first time in school history Clarion has been the top seed in the NCAA Playoffs … This is the seventh time since 2002 the Golden Eagles have qualified for the NCAAs.