Washington University Volleyball Travels to Elmhurst to Open NCAA Tournament Action
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St. Louis, Mo., November 5, 2012 – The No. 1-ranked Washington University in St. Louis volleyball team will open the 2012 NCAA Division III Tournament by traveling to Elmhurst, Ill., to play in the NCAA Regional hosted by Elmhurst College, Friday-Sunday, Nov. 9-11, as announced Monday morning by the NCAA selection committee.
The Bears, who finished the regular season with a 29-3 record, will take on College of Mount St. Joseph in the opening round at 3 p.m. Friday. The other three regional quarterfinal matchups Friday will feature No. 16 University of Chicago against Benedictine University (Ill.) at 12:30 p.m., No. 18 University of Wisconsin-Whitewater vs. Thomas More College at 5:30 p.m., and No. 9 Elmhurst College against Webster University at 8 p.m.
Washington University has won an NCAA Division III record 10 national championships, including most recently in 2009. The Bears, who are coached by Rich Luenemann, are making their 26th-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance and are 91-16 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, which is the second-most wins by any program. Washington U. received an at-large bid to the 2012 NCAA Tournament after falling to No. 6 Emory University in the University Athletic Association (UAA) Championship Saturday.
Washington U.’s quarterfinal opponent, Mount St. Joseph, earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament by winning the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) championship over Transylvania University. The Lions enter the postseason with a 14-14 overall record. This will be Mount St. Joseph’s 12th appearance in the NCAA Tournament and first since 2010. The Lions have a 10-11 record all-time in the NCAA Tournament. Junior middle hitter Nicole Sherpensky was named the HCAC Tournament Most Valuable Player after leading the Lions to their 12th HCAC tournament title.
Chicago received an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament after finishing third at the UAA Championship last weekend. The Maroons are making their third-straight tournament appearance with a record of 1-2 in their previous two postseason appearances. Chicago finished the regular season with a 28-10 record, and has split two matches against the Bears this season. The Maroons knocked off Washington U. in five sets on Oct. 13, but the Bears avenged the loss with a four-set win in the UAA Championship semifinal Friday.
Benedictine earned a five-set win over Edgewood College to claim the Northern Athletics Conference (NAC) championship and an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Eagles finished the regular season with a 30-4 record, and will be making their 17th NCAA Tournament appearance and first since 2004. Benedictine has an 18-17 mark all-time in NCAA Tournament play, including three trips to the Final Four.
Wisconsin-Whitewater will be making its 25th NCAA Tournament appearance, including 21st in a row, after earning an at-large bid. The Warhawks lost to University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in the semifinal and finishing third in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) tournament. Wisconsin-Whitewater enters the postseason with a 25-11 record. The Warhawks have a 44-23 record in NCAA Tournament play all-time, including two National Championships (2002, 2005) and three runner-up finishes. Washington U. swept Wisconsin-Whitewater, 25-21, 27-25, 25-23, when the two teams played Sept. 7 in St. Louis.
Thomas More won the program’s fourth Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC) Championship to earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Saints enter the postseason with a 26-5 record. Thomas More will be making its 11th NCAA Tournament appearance and first since 2010. The Saints have posted a 5-10 record all-time in NCAA Tournament play.
Webster won its second-straight St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SLIAC) title, and sixth in the last seven years, to earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Gorloks finished the regular season with a 24-9 record, and will be making their sixth NCAA Tournament appearance. Webster is looking for its first win in the NCAA Tournament, with a 0-5 mark in its previous five appearances. Washington U. swept the Gorloks, 25-12, 25-21, 29-27, Oct. 3 at Webster.
Host Elmhurst earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament by winning the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin (CCIW) championship over Wheaton College (Ill.). The Bluejays are making their 17th NCAA Tournament appearance overall and second in a row. Elmhurst has a 21-14 record in its previous 16 seasons, including a pair of National Championships in 1983 and 1985 and a runner-up finish in 1987. Washington U. earned a four-set win over Elmhurst (25-18, 25-23, 23-25, 25-14) when the teams faced each other Sept. 7 in St. Louis.