Regals advance to NCAA Final Four

CLU volleyball team eliminates Clarkson in 4

Pua Mo'okini-Oliveira, Hayley Tamagni and Kylie McLogan teamed up for a block against Clarkson at the NCAA Division III National Championships.

Photo: Tracy Maple

(HOLLAND, Mich. – Nov. 21, 2013) The 2013 volleyball season started with more than 440 teams and tonight the field is down to four after the opening day of the 2013 NCAA Division III Volleyball Championships at Hope College. No. 3 Cal Lutheran will be one of those teams after defeating Clarkson 3-1 (25-20, 21-25, 29-27, 25-13) in the third match of the day at the DeVos Fieldhouse.

As CLU battled to its 28th consecutive victory, the Regals put a stop to Clarkson’s 19-match winning-streak, also ending the Golden Knights’ season as the Violet and Gold advance to the Final Four for the second time in program history.

On a night when each team used streaks to shift the momentum and both the offense and defense had big plays, head coach Kellee Roesel was pleased with the patience her team exhibited tonight, especially in tough spots. CLU combined for 14 total blocks and 59 kills for a .241 hitting percentage as a unit with six service aces.

Again Kylie McLogan led the attack with a match-high 22 kills and was second on the squad with 16 digs as she recorded four block assists to contribute 25.0 points. Allie Eason had a double-double with a team-leading 19 digs, also notching 12 kills. Jackie Russell led all players with 38 assists. Both Pua Mo’okini-Oliveira and Hayley Tamagni recorded eight kills and six block assists with Tamagni adding the only solo stop of the night for either team and Mo’okini-Oliveira tallying a match-best three service aces. Lauren Rohach also had six block assists, chipping in with six kills as well. Four different players for CLU finished in double figures for digs with Nicki Tetherow and Mo’okini-Oliveira finishing with 14 and 12 apiece, respectively.

After earning the first point of the match, Cal Lutheran was at a deficit early before using a 7-0 run sparked by three consecutive kills from McLogan to get the Violet and Gold even at 18-18. A defensive stand at the net ensued when McLogan immediately teamed up with Mo’okini-Oliveira and Tamagnifor a block assist to give CLU a one-point lead. They would add to the total on the next rally with another block from Mo’okini-Oliveira and Tamagni to take a 20-18 cushion, followed by a service ace and a kill from Tamagni that rounded out the stretch. CLU would go on to take the set 25-20 with the final two points coming by way of Easonand McLogan on kills.

In the second set, the Regals and Golden Knights exchanged points throughout the first half of the game. Trailing 16-15, McLogan again put down back-to-back kills to give CLU a lead and Eason and Caitlin Fransen followed with another pair to give the CLU a 19-16 advantage. Unfortunately, a couple of Cal Lutheran mistakes aided Clarkson in earning three unanswered points. Although Mo’okini-Oliveira and Tamagni would tally another block in the set, Clarkson reeled off the final six points, which included a trio of kills from Xaio Liang on assists from Lani Durio to steal the second 25-21, evening the match at one game apiece.

The third set belonged to the Regals at the start, but on set-point, ahead 24-17, a series of seven points from the Golden Knights knotted the teams at 24-24, forcing a second CLU timeout within minutes of action. In the back-and-forth battle, a number of Cal Lutheran players stepped up to keep the set alive, including kills from Eason, a tip from Rohach and a block from McLogan and Rohach. A ball handling error on the Clarkson side of the net ended things at 29-27 and gave the Regals a 2-1 advantage in games.

Cal Lutheran ran away with the fourth and final set after blowing the wind out of the sails of the Golden Knights late in the third. CLU went up 10-3 and pushed the gap to double figures for good at 16-6 as the Regals cruised to a 25-14 win and secured a spot in the Semifinals tomorrow.

Clarkson (36-7) was paced by 14 kills apiece from Liang and Victoria Kirkemo with Durio handing out 30 assists. Erika Chin had a match-high 27 digs and two players had two block assists apiece for the Golden Knights.

In the first two matches of the day No. 7 Emory (34-4) and No. 1 Calvin (33-1) eliminated No. 17 Eastern (32-5) and unranked UMass-Boston (24-16), respectively, 3-0 and 3-1. The Eagles and Knights will meet on Friday at 2:00 p.m. (PST) in the second Semifinal of the day.

Cal Lutheran (34-1) and No. 19 Wisconsin-Stevens Point (35-4) will cap off the Semifinals at 4:30 p.m. (PST) in the DeVose Field House. WSP knocked off host and No. 2 Hope (32-3) in the upset of the night in a 3-0 victory to end day one of competition.

Box Score: CLU 3, CC 1
Tournament Central: 2013 NCAA Division III Volleyball Tournament
Bracket: 2013 NCAA Division III Volleyball Tournament Bracket
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