No. 9 Wingate cruises past Brevard for 20th consecutive victory
BREVARD, N.C. -- Wingate freshman middle blocker Abby Saehler registered a career-high 15 kills Saturday afternoon, leading the ninth-ranked Bulldogs to a 3-0 victory at Brevard in South Atlantic Conference action. Wingate won by scores of 25-12, 25-12 and 25-17 to improve to 23-2 overall and 19-0 in the SAC. The victory gives the Bulldogs 20 consecutive wins this season and 34 consecutive SAC victories. Wingate also sets a SAC record with 19 conference wins in a season. Brevard falls to 7-17 overall and 3-16 in the SAC.
Saehler hit .400 on the afternoon, needing only 25 swings to notch her career high, adding five digs and two blocks. Redshirt senior right-side hitter Anna Hilton added eight kills, four blocks and three digs, hitting .500 in two sets of action. Sophomore outside hitter Shelly Stumpff had seven kills and six digs in two sets of action, hitting .438. Sophomore setter Iris Brewer had 24 assists, seven digs and three kills, while redshirt junior Alison Cooke had 14 assists and four digs in one set. Junior libero Stephanie Tassone collected 10 digs.
No. 1 Concordia-St. Paul 3, Minnesota-Crookston 0
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Concordia-St. Paul (26-1, 18-0 NSIC) clinched at least a share of its 11th consecutive NSIC regular season title with a sweep of Minnesota-Crookston (13-13, 8-10 NSIC) on Saturday afternoon at the Gangelhoff Center.
Concordia has won the regular season crown all 11 seasons under head coach Brady Starkey.
The winning formula on Saturday, as it has been for much of the season, was a balanced attack and stellar defense. Concordia hit .355 as a team in the match, while holding the Golden Eagles to just a .119 attack percentage.
Erienne Lauersdorf paced the Golden Bear attack with 15 kills while hitting .458 and Kayla Koenecke put up her 16th double-double of the season with 13 kills and a match-high 17 digs. Amanda Konetchy joined Koenecke with a double-double of her own with 49 assists and 10 digs in the match. Middle blockers Riley Hanson and Heather Schiller were also active on the offensive end with 10 and nine kills, respectively.
A bright spot for UMC came from Maggie Perrel, who finished the match with eight kills and did not commit an error.
No. 2 Tampa 3, Saint Leo
TAMPA, Fla. -- En route to winning its ninth consecutive Sunshine State Conference championship, No. 2 Tampa rolled over Saint Leo by a 3-1 score Saturday at the Bob Martinez Athletics Center (19-25, 25-19, 25-20, 25-13).
The win gives Tampa at least a share of its 23rd conference championship and a record 31 consecutive conference victories dating back to Oct. 29th, 2011. The Spartans improve to 25-1 with a conference clinching 12-0 record while the Lions fall to 19-9 with a 6-5 SSC tally.
Offensive player of the week Meagan Burke blazed the trail for Tampa, as the junior blasted 10 kills at a sizzling .533 attack percentage. Outside hitter Holly Reschke mirrored with her own 10-kill showing while fellow outside Berkley Whaley led the floor with 16 kills. The sophomore picked up a double-double with 11 digs.
Junior Kahley Patrick set the Spartans to a team .294 clip, assisting 39 attacks including a pair of kills to her credit. The setter assisted three blocks in the four-set victory.
No. 3 Minnesota-Duluth 3, Upper Iowa
FAYETTE, Iowa -- A dominant performance from outside hitter Kate Lange helped propel Minnesota-Duluth to a consecutive set (25-23, 25-15, 25-17) victory against Upper Iowa on Saturday. The win keeps the Bulldogs in sole possession of second place in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference standings behind Concordia-St. Paul with one week of action remaining.
Lange could not be stopped as the two-time All-American notched a match-high 20 kills on 36 swings, good enough for a .472 hitting percentage. Lange, who had 14 of the Bulldogs 30 kills in the first two sets, grabbed her 11th double-double of the season shoveling up 13 digs.
UMD (26-2 overall and 16-2 in the NSIC) put on a dominant performance, handily taking the final two sets after escaping a late charge from the Peacocks. The Peacocks would not go quietly in the first frame, rallying from down 19-12 to behind one at 24-23 before a Syndie Mauch kill clinched the set. The Bulldogs held Upper Iowa to respective attack percentage of .105 in three sets in 33 kills against 21 errors.
No. 4 BYU-Hawaii 3, Point Loma 1
SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- Winning 3-1 against Point Loma (25-15, 25-14, 25-27, 25-23), No. 4 BYU-Hawaii clinched the Pacific West Conference crown on Saturday night.
The Seasiders (23-1, 18-1) have now won outright or shared six of the past eight PacWest regular season titles, including the last five in a row.
The team has already clinched the automatic qualifier for the NCAA Division II tournament.
Shih Ting (Stella) Chen had 19 kills with 24 digs and two solo blocks. Erh Fang (Ariel) Hsu posted 14 kills over her own. Ying Chun (Michelle) Chen added 47 assists.
No. 6 West Texas A&M 3, Tarleton State 0
CANYON, Texas -- West Texas A&M ran its win streak to 19 consecutive games on Saturday afternoon as they made quick work of the visiting TexAnns of Tarleton State (25-15, 25-20, 25-16) in front of 904 fans at the WTAMU Fieldhouse "The Box" in Canyon. The win lifts the Lady Buffs to 25-3 (14-0 LSC) while the TexAnns drop their second consecutive match to move to 14-12 (7-7 LSC) on the season.
"Another big win, we struggled offensively a little but Tarleton is one of the best defensive teams in the region and they put a lot of pressure on you to execute" WT head coach Jason Skoch said. "Lubbock Christian has really played well since we saw them at our opening tournament and they always have a great home crowd so it should be a tough match for us."
The win lifts the Lady Buffs to 40-2 all-time against Tarleton State with WT taking the past four meetings dating back to 2012 when the TexAnns were the last team to defeat the Lady Buffs at the WTAMU Fieldhouse "The Box" in Canyon, the win stretches WT's home win streak to 24 matches.
No. 7 Nebraska-Kearney, Northwest Missouri State
KEARNEY, Neb. -- Bailey and Katie Sokolowski combined for 22 kills to help Nebraska-Kearney sweep Northwest Missouri State (-20, -19, -21) on Saturday afternoon.
UNK improves to 26-3 (12-2) and keeps its MIAA regular season title hopes alive while the Bearcats drop to 11-17 (5-10).
Hitting .330 on the day, the Lopers trailed just twice over the first two sets and that came when Northwest scored two of the match's first three points.
No. 8 Southwest Minnesota State 3, Mary 0
MARSHALL, Minn. -- Abbey Thissen hit a career-best .667 and finished with 16 kills on 21 attacks to lead No. 8 Southwest Minnesota State against Mary in straight sets on Saturday, 25-14, 25-21, 25-9. The win was SMSU's 20th win of the season and marks the 11th consecutive season that the Mustangs have recorded 20 or more wins.
SMSU set a new season-high with a combined .427 hitting percentage - Thissen had a match-high 16 kills. She was the only athlete that finished the match with double-digit kill totals. Claire Sames followed with nine kills.
SMSU forced 17 Marauder errors and limited the offensive attack to the tune of a .036 hitting percentage.
No. 10 Western Washington 3, St. Martin's 0
BELLINGHAM, Wash. -- Four players had seven or more kills as nationally-ranked Western Washington swept Saint Martin's 25-14, 25-13, 25-22 in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference match at Sam Carver Gymnasium.
The three-game victory was the 17th this season for the Vikings, ranked No.10 in the latest American Volleyball Coaches Association/NCAA Division II Top 25 Poll. They improved to 19-3 overall and remained tied for first with Alaska Anchorage in the conference standings at 12-2.
Saint Martin's, which suffered its sixth consecutive loss, fell to 7-19 overall and 3-11 in GNAC play.