WHEELING, W.Va. -- Wheeling Jesuit captured its third consecutive trip to the NCAA quarterfinals, and its third consecutive Atlantic Regional championship on Saturday, defeating California (Pa.) in consecuitve sets (25-21, 25-18, 25-16). The Cardinals also placed three players on the all-tournament team.
WJU has now played 42 games this season (37-5 overall, 19-0 MEC), and only 12 opponents have managed to take a set from the Cardinals.
"I'm kind of speechless right now," WJU head coach Christy Benner said. "It was a 3-0 game … we're going to Iowa … we stepped up [Saturday night]. We did what we needed to do. I'm just super excited for our girls. They did everything we asked them to."
The Cardinals defeated the Vulcans with powerful net play and impenetrable defense. Senior Captain Jenna Pew had 12 kills while freshman Emma Schleucher had 16 kills of her own. Freshman Andrea Thobe led the Cardinals with 36 assists.
The first set was a high scoring back and forth battle, which the Cardinals eventually took 25-21. The second set turned out to be a defensive match with the teams tied for most of it until the Cardinals pulled away to win 25-18. The third set showed all out domination by the 1st seeded Cardinals who led right from the start to win the set 25-16.