Top-seeded Wittenberg (27-3) claimed its 20th North Coast Athletic Conference Volleyball Tournament title and earned the league’s automatic bid into the NCAA Division III Volleyball Tournament after defeating DePauw, 3-1, in the tournament championship match on Saturday night at Pam Evans Smith Arena in Springfield, Ohio.
Wittenberg junior Kara Seidenstricker (London, OH/Jonathan Alder) was named the tournament MVP after finishing the two-day event with 39 kills, a .398 hitting percentage, 46 digs, seven blocks (2 solo, 5 asst.), five set assists and two service aces. In the championship match against DePauw, she totaled 15 kills, 22 digs and three blocks (1 solo, 2 asst.).
The Wittenberg Tigers advanced to the championship match after
with a pair of straight-set victories over eighth-seeded Wooster
(8-22) in the quarterfinal round and fourth-seeded Ohio Wesleyan
(17-12) in the semifinal round. The DePauw Tigers also made their
run to the tournament championship match with a pair of
straight-set victories over seventh-seeded Oberlin (13-19) in the
quarterfinals and third-seeded Hiram (24-7) in the semifinals.
Seidenstricker was joined on the all-tournament team by Ohio Wesleyan freshman Iris Anderson (Elk Grove, CA/Christian Brothers), Hiram senior Jen Yardas (Moon Twp., PA/Moon), DePauw sophomore Elisabeth Wilson (Carterville, IL/Carterville), DePauw senior Mary Kate Etling (Terre Haute, IN/North) and the Wittenberg senior duo of Kiah Murray (Yorktown, IN/Yorktown) and Meghan Vodopich (Canton, OH/Massillon Perry).
As tournament champions, Wittenberg has qualified for the NCAA Div. III Volleyball Tournament for the 19th-straight year and 20th appearance all-time, while DePauw makes its second-straight tournament appearance as an at-large selection.
Wittenberg, which won the 2011 NCAA Div. III National Championship, owns a 34-18 record in NCAA postseason play, while DePauw made its first appearance in the national tournament last fall with a 3-0 loss against Otterbein in the opening round.
The fourth-ranked Wittenberg Tigers will play host to one of the eight regional tournaments scheduled across the country at Pam Evans Smith Arena in Springfield, Ohio, for the first time since 2010. The Tigers open plan on Thursday against Cabrini (26-6), the automatic qualifier from the Colonial States Athletic Conference. The winner will square off against either Washington & Lee (27-6) or Mount Union (28-5) on Friday. The other half of the regional bracket includes opening round matches featuring Juniata (27-7) vs. Franciscan (13-16) and Hope (28-2) vs. Franklin & Marshall (21-11).
The DePauw Tigers will travel to the Carthage College Regional, also beginning on Thursday, at Tarble Arena in Kenosha, Wisconsin. DePauw opens play on Thursday against the University of Chicago, which also received an at-large bid into the 64-team field out of the University Athletic Association. The winner will face off against either Carthage (34-3) or Dominican (24-11) on Friday. The other half of the Carthage Regional bracket includes opening round matches that feature Elmhurst (30-8) vs. Wis.-Whitewater (26-8) and Calvin (27-3) vs. Wis.-Oshkosh (31-7).
The regional championship matches will be played on Saturday at both regional sites. All match times will be announced later tonight (11/10). Complete NCAA Tournament information can be found online at: www.ncaa.com.