WINGATE, N.C. -- Top-seeded and ninth-ranked Wingate bounced back after an opening-set loss, defeating the second-seeded and 17th-ranked Armstrong Atlantic 3-1 in the NCAA Southeast Regional championship match. The Bulldogs won by scores of 20-25, 26-24, 25-20 and 25-18 to improve to 32-2 overall, advancing to the quarterfinals for the second consecutive year and third time in four years. The Pirates end their season at 32-2 overall.
The win gives the Bulldogs their 14th NCAA tournament victory, more than the rest of the SAC schools combined. The Bulldogs are still the only team in SAC history to win a regional title. Wingate has now defeated three top-20 opponents in the 2013 season. The Bulldogs have won 29 consecutive matches this season.
Senior All-American Anna Hilton had 13 kills, 17 digs and seven blocks to lead the Wingate attack, hitting .387. Senior middle blocker Allison Rickher added nine kills and seven blocks, hitting .400, while junior outside hitter Susie Murach had nine kills, 13 digs and two blocks. Junior middle blocker Lexi Potter piled up nine kills and a career-high 10 blocks, while sophomore Shelly Stumpff had five kills, 10 digs, two blocks and two aces. Redshirt junior setter Alison Cooke had 40 assists, 14 digs and five blocks, while junior libero Stephanie Tassone had 10 digs.