NCAA Second Round Recap:
Wittenberg saw its season come to a close with a dramatic 3-2 loss to Millikin in the second round of the 2016 NCAA Division III Volleyball Tournament on Friday, November 11th in Grand Rapids, Michigan. A little over two hours later, DePauw closed out its 2016 season in the second round as well with a 3-0 loss against host Calvin.
Junior outside hitter Maddie Fischer (Minerva, OH/Minerva) led the way offensively for the Tigers with 17 kills and a .317 hitting percentage to go along with four digs and a service ace. Defensively sophomore Madison Manger (Loveland, OH/Ursuline Academy) led Wittenberg with 16 digs.
Wittenberg, which snapped its streak of six-straight appearances in the Regional Championship match dating back to 2010, closes out the 2016 campaign with a 22-6 record.
NCAA First Round Recap (11/10):
Wittenberg (22-6) and DePauw (25-5) both logged opening-round victories on Thursday night to open play in the 2014 NCAA Division III Volleyball Tournament at the Calvin College Regional in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
The DPU Tigers advanced after a 3-1 victory over Carnegie Mellon. DePauw jumped out to an early 2-0 lead with scores of 25-20 and 25-20 in the first two sets. DePauw allowed Carnegie Mellon a third-set 25-21 win before edging the Tartans, 25-20, in the final stanza. Sophomore outside hitter Suzanne Peters (Fort Wayne, IN/Homestead) led the Tigers with 14 kills in the match, while junior setter Keegan Kollias (Zionsville, IN/Zionsville) contributed a team-high 24 digs for the defensive unit. DePauw will now take on the winner of host Calvin (27-1) and Pitt.-Bradford (25-5) in the second round tomorrow night (11/11) at 7:00 p.m. in Michigan.
Top-seeded Wittenberg (21-5) captured its conference-leading 22nd NCAC Volleyball Tournament title on Saturday, November 5th, with a 3-0 victory over second-seeded DePauw (24-5) in the championship match at Pam Evans Smith Arena in Springfield, Ohio.
As tournament champions, Wittenberg receives the NCAC's automatic bid into the 2016 NCAA Division III Volleyball Tournament, while DePauw is making its third appearance in the national tournament in the last four years as an at-large selection. This marks the seventh time in league history that the NCAC has placed two teams in the national tournament.
The Wittenberg Tigers booked their ticket to the championship match with a 3-1 win over eighth-seeded Oberlin (7-20) in the quarterfinal round on Friday night and a straight-set victory over fourth-seeded Ohio Wesleyan (19-13) in the semifinal round on Saturday afternoon. The DePauw Tigers marched to the championship match with a 3-0 win over seventh-seeded Wooster (18-11) in the quarters on Friday night and another 3-0 win over sixth-seeded Denison (12-17) in the semis on Saturday.
Wittenberg junior outside hitter Maddie Fischer (Minerva, OH/Minerva) was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player after finishing the two-day event with 40 kills and just nine hitting errors for a .348 hitting percentage. She also added 22 digs, seven aces and four blocks over the three matches combined. She posted a double-double in the 3-1 semifinal win over Ohio Wesleyan with 15 kills and 12 digs.
Fischer was joined on the all-tournament team by Denison junior middle hitter Leah Reinfranck (Northbrook, IL/Glenbrook North), Ohio Wesleyan junior outside hitter Iris Anderson (Elk Grove, CA/Christian Brothers), DePauw senior Elisabeth Wilson middle hitter (Carterville, IL/Carterville), DePauw freshman right-side hitter Morgan Stearley (Center Point, IN/Northview) and the Wittenberg duo of sophomore setter Karen Wildemann (Columbus, IN/North) and freshman middle blocker Aubrey Cox (Tips City, OH/Tippecanoe).
Wittenberg, which advanced to the national championship match a year ago, and DePauw will both be traveling to Grand Rapids, Michigan, for the Calvin College Regional, November 10-12, with all matches being played inside the Van Noord Arena.
Wittenberg will open the three-day event with an opening-round match on Thursday against Bethany (25-11), the automatic qualifier out of the Presidents' Athletic Conference. The winner will square off against either Ohio Northern (27-3) or Millikin (26-11). In the other half of the Calvin bracket, DePauw is set to take on Carnegie Mellon (25-7), the automatic qualifier out of the University Athletic Association, with the winner set to meet either Calvin (27-1) or Pitt.-Bradford (25-5) in the second round on Friday.
The regional championship match will be played on Saturday. All match times will be announced later tonight (11/7), while complete NCAA Tournament information can be found online at: www.ncaa.com.