DePauw volleyball earns NCAA tourney berth

Monday, November 5, 2018

Following a 17-10 regular season and a second-place finish in the North Coast Athletic Conference, the DePauw volleyball team earned an at-large berth in the NCAA Division III Volleyball Championship. The Tigers open play against Hope (25-7) in a first-round match on Thursday, November 8, at 3 p.m. at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich.

The Tigers are making their eighth overall appearance in the Championship with five appearances in the last six tournaments including each of the last three seasons.

On Saturday at Springfield, Ohio, DePauw battled back from a 2-1 deficit in its North Coast Athletic Conference Tournament semifinal match with Hiram, but the Terriers won the decisive fifth set for a 3-2 (20-25, 25-18, 25-23, 20-25, 15-11) win over the Tigers. Hiram improved to 23-4, while DePauw ended its season at 17-10.

The Tigers jumped out to a 6-1 lead in the opening set and never trailed to take a 1-0 lead. Hiram led by as many as 10 points in the second and held off a late DePauw run to even the match.

The third set was back-and-forth early before the Terriers put together a 14-3 run to grab a 24-15 lead. DePauw fought off eight straight set points to close to 24-23, but Hiram’s Madison Fortune gave her team the 2-1 lead with a kill for the final point.

DePauw held a narrow 14-13 advantage in the fourth before scoring five of the next six points and the Terriers got no closer than four points in the set as the Tigers knotted the match at 2-2.

Hiram held a 5-4 edge in the fifth and ran off four straight to take control as the Tigers got no closer than three the rest of the way.

• Tigers honored — DePauw senior outside hitter Suzanne Peters was named the North Coast Athletic Conference Player of the Year in voting by the conference’s nine head coaches. She was joined by three other Tigers who also earned all-conference honors.

Peters, a first team all-NCAC selection last year, leads the NCAC and ranks 14th in Division III with 4.22 kills per set and is second in the conference and 29th in the nation with 4.58 points per set.

Joining Peters on the first team is junior right side Morgan Stearley of Northview, who was a first-team selection a year ago. Stearley’s 3.49 kills per set rank fifth in the NCAC, while her .254 hitting percentage is ninth.

Junior outside hitter Liv Hartman of Danville was named to the second team after earning honorable mention a year ago.

Libero Jenna Purichia of Indianapolis Cardinal Ritter was named to the honorable mention team in her first year of collegiate competition.

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