Wittenberg (27-2) moved into the championship match of the 2017 NCAA Division III Volleyball Championships following a 3-0 victory over Calvin (30-4) on Friday (11/17) evening at Van Noord Arena on the campus of Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Once again, the Tigers set the tone early with a 25-19 victory in set one and a 25-20 victory in the second. In fact, Wittenberg didn’t trail until the third set when Calvin jumped out to a 3-0 lead before the Tigers scored seven of the next 10 points to regain the lead for good en route to a 25-17 third set and 3-0 match victory.
The win pushes Wittenberg into the championship for the second time in the last three years and third time overall. The Tigers won the National Championship in 2011 and finished runners-up in 2015.
Three Tigers finished with double-digit kills led by senior Maddie Fischer (Minerva, OH/Minerva) with a game-high 14 to go along with five digs and one service ace. Freshman Haley Horner (Wheaton, IL/Wheaton North) and junior Taylor Brown (Springfield, OH/Kenton Ridge) joined Fischer in double-digits with 11 and 10 kills respectively. As a team, Wittenberg posted its second highest hitting percentage during this NCAA run at .327. Only in its NCAA opener against PSU-Behrend did Wittenberg post a higher percentage at .391.
Sophomore libero Taylor Yontz (Springfield, OH/Shawnee) led the defensive unit with 20 digs, while setter junior Karen Wildemann (Columbus, IN/North) continued her outstanding tournament with 44 set assists and 12 digs.
Wittenberg will now square off against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (30-5), who defeated Ithaca (25-9) in the first semifinal, tomorrow evening at 7:00 p.m. for a chance at the Tigers' second national crown.