GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – While the Cal Lutheran women’s volleyball team was playing in its fifth NCAA Division III Women’s Volleyball National quarterfinal match tonight the opposing Bowdoin Polar Bears were making their inaugural appearance in the Elite Eight. Experience shined through as the seasoned CLU team inched a step closer to realizing a dream with a 3-1 win at the Van Noord Arena on the campus of Calvin College.
Things started slow for the Regals who dropped the first set 20-25 before powering back for 25-17, 25-16 and 25-23 victories.
Cal Lutheran (29-5) was balanced as usual with four players reaching double figures for kills, paced by a match and season-high 19 from Allie Eason. She added 18 digs for a double-double, an accolade that freshman Amanda Roberts earned as well with a 12-kill, 17 dig night. Michelle Lawrence and Monica Lundgren added 11 and 10 kills, respectively. Jamie Smith finished with 48 assists for the Regals. Nicki Tetherow led the way with 21 digs and was joined by Molly Holloway with two aces apiece. At the net, Lundgrenand Sarah Pappas each had a solo stop while Pappas added four block assists. Lundgren and Lawrencetallied three block assists apiece and the team combined for 9.5 total.
Bowdoin (26-5) opened the night hitting at a .324 clip, but the CLU defense settled down and limited the Polar Bears to performances of .156, .089 and .200 in the final three sets. Michelle Albright led the team with 11 kills and Christy Jewett tallied a double-double with 10 kills and 16 digs while adding the only two service aces of the contest for Bowdoin. Quincy Leech handed out 38 assists. Katie Doherty was the match-leader with 29 digs tonight and Sydney Salle had two solo blocks with three block assists.
Earlier today Hendrix (29-8) defeated Bethel (25-9) in a five-set thriller that saw the teams even at 1-1 and again at 2-2 before the Warriors gritted down and stole the third for the 25-16, 25-27, 26-24, 19-25, 15-13.
In the second match, Clarkson (30-9) had its season ended by Wittenberg (28-2) in a 3-0 sweep with game scores of 25-11, 25-22, 25-21.
Tomorrow, Friday, Nov. 20, Cal Lutheran will face the winner of the Carthage (34-7)/Randolph-Macon (28-7) match, which will conclude the first day of competition, in one of two semifinal matches at 7:30 p.m. local time, 4:30 p.m. (PST).
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