WINGATE, N.C. -- The top-seeded and ninth-ranked Wingate Bulldogs swept the eighth-seeded Crusaders of Belmont Abbey on Thursday night in the NCAA Southeast Regional quarterfinal match in Cuddy Arena. Wingate won by scores of 25-17, 25-15 and 25-15 to improve to 30-2 overall. The Crusaders end their season at 28-4 overall.
SAC player of the year Anna Hilton had 12 kills, 13 digs and three blocks to lead the Wingate attack, hitting .500 on the afternoon. Sophomore outside hitter Shelly Stumpff added 10 kills, seven digs and three aces, while senior middle blocker Allison Rickher had eight kills and three blocks. Redshirt junior setter Alison Cooke had 34 assists and 12 digs, while junior libero Stephanie Tassone piled up 18 digs.
"This was a great win for our team tonight for so many reasons," head coach Shelton Collier says. "Belmont Abbey is a very good team and we worked very hard to be tactically prepared for this match and we are proud of our performance. Also, we are aware that the NCAA tournament is survive and advance, so we are pleased we get to move on and play in the next round."
Lydia Schellenberg had 10 kills to lead the Belmont Abbey attack. Hannah Schellenberg added five kills and 10 digs for the Crusaders. Abby Stine had 10 assists and 11 digs, while Gabby Martinez registered 10 assists and eight digs. Ana Maria Pagan collected 11 digs for the Crusaders.