Volleyball to Host 2011 NCAA Division III Regional on Nov. 11-13
NCAA BRACKET | WUSTL GAME NOTES
St. Louis, Mo., November 7, 2011 — The second-ranked Washington University in St. Louis volleyball team was selected as one of eight regional hosts for the 2011 NCAA Division III Championship, as announced Monday morning by the NCAA selection committee.
The Bears, who finished the regular season with a 32-1 overall record, will host the NCAA Division III Regional Friday-Sunday, Nov. 11-13, at the WU Field House in St. Louis. Washington University’s first-round opponent will be Webster University, the 2011 champion of the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SLIAC). The match is scheduled for 8 p.m. on Friday.
Washington University has won an NCAA Division III-record 10 national championships, including most recently in 2009. The Bears are appearing in the NCAA Tournament for the 25th-consecutive season and are 89-15 all-time in NCAA Tournament action. In 2010, Washington University advanced to the NCAA Semifinals for the 17th time in school history, before falling to eventual National Runner-Up Emory University, 3-1.
The Bears received an automatic berth to this year’s tournament after winning their 20th University Athletic Association (UAA) title with a 3-2 win over No. 2 Emory on Nov. 5. Fellow UAA members Emory and the University of Chicago both received at-large bids to this year’s tournament on Monday.
In the other three regional quarterfinal matchups on Friday at Washington University, Elmhurst College will face Cornell College at 12:30 p.m., Carthage College takes on Edgewood College at 3 p.m., followed by the University of Chicago and the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater at 5:30 p.m.
Washington University’s first-round opponent, Webster, defeated Greenville College to capture the SLIAC title for the ninth time in the 17-year history of the tournament. The Gorloks are 19-12 overall and will be making their fifth appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
Webster is led by a pair of freshman outside hitters, Jenny Howard and Jordan Vehlewald. Howard, who was the 2011 SLIAC Volleyball Newcomer of the Year and a SLIAC All-Conference First Team selection, leads the Gorloks with 2.96 kills per set and a 0.327 hitting percentage. Vehlewald, the 2011 SLIAC Tournament Most Valuable Player, averages 2.69 kills and 3.40 digs per set. Washington U. won the only meeting between the Bears and Gorloks this season, a 3-0 win on Oct. 26.
Elmhurst received an at-large bid into the 2011 NCAA Tournament after finishing as the runner-up in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW). The No. 17-ranked Bluejays enter the NCAA Tournament with a 30-5 overall record after having their 17-match winning streak snapped in the championship of the CCIW Tournament with a 3-2 loss to Carthage. Elmhurst is making its 16th appearance in the NCAA Tournament and first since 2005. Sophomore middle hitter Megan Reynolds leads Elmhurst with 396 kills and 151 blocks this season, and was a three-time CCIW Player of the Week.
Cornell earned an automatic berth to its first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance after winning its first-ever Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC) championship last weekend. The Rams won their last 14 matches to finish the regular season with a 28-5 record. Cornell is led by sophomore outside hitter Kathleen O’Connor, the 2011 IIAC Most Valuable Player. O’Connor has posted team-highs of 442 kills and 53 ace serves to lead the Rams, while ranking second on the team with 319 digs.
Carthage also received an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament after winning its sixth-straight CCIW tournament championship. The Lady Reds, now 30-6 on the season, won the conference title 3-2 over Elmhurst, including a 17-15 win in the fifth set. Carthage, who is ranked 11th, will be making its seventh straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament and eighth appearance overall. Carthage had four 2011 all-CCIW first-team players, led by senior outside hitter Michelle Madeja, who was the CCIW Player of the Year for the second-straight season. Madeja has recorded 447 kills and averaged 3.55 kills per set in 2011 to lead Carthage, while senior setter Drewann Pancratz has tallied 1,163 assists this season.
Edgewood will be making its first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance after upsetting top-seeded Dominican University 3-2 to win the Northern Athletics Conference (NAC) tournament. The Eagles finished the regular season with a 21-13 overall record. Junior outside hitter Mallory Palmer, a three-time All-NAC First-Team honoree, leads the Eagles with 492 kills and ranks second on the team with 392 digs. Sophomore setter Lindsey Swansby joined Palmer on the 2011 All-NAC First Team and has 1,226 assists and 356 digs this season. The Eagles have five players who have recorded at least 300 digs in 2011.
Chicago will be making its second-straight NCAA Tournament appearance in its second all-time appearance. The 16th-ranked Maroons earned an at-large bid after finishing third at the UAA Championships. Chicago enters the NCAA Tournament with a 29-5 overall record, with four of the five losses coming to teams in the Midwest Regional. The Maroons have a balanced attack of four players with more than 200 kills each, led by senior outside hitter Isis Smalls who has 316 kills this season.
Wisconsin-Whitewater, who won national titles in 2002 and 2005, will be competing in the NCAA Tournament for the 20th consecutive season. The 21st-ranked Warhawks, who are 26-7 this season, are 44-22 all-time in NCAA Tournament play and earned an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament by winning their 14th Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) title. The Warhawks have been to the NCAA National Championship match five times, with their last appearance coming in 2007, when Washington U. earned a 3-2 win over Whitewater. Senior outside hitter Sofia Sanchez leads Whitewater offensively with 389 kills this season, while senior libero Kelli Trautmann has team-highs of 500 digs and 42 ace serves.
Ticket prices are $6 for adults and $4 for students.