PROVIDENCE, R.I. – For the first time in program history, the Wesleyan University volleyball team has advanced to the regional finals of the NCAA Division III Championships as the Cardinals swept Springfield College on Saturday afternoon, 3-0. Wesleyan (19-5) defeated the Pride (24-8) by scores of 25-18, 25-17, 25-15 and will face the winner of No. 2 Johnson & Wales vs. New Paltz tomorrow at 2 p.m. for a chance to reach the NCAA quarterfinals.
The Cardinals hit .276 as a team Saturday with 36 kills and only seven errors. Nicole Hilton led the way with 10 kills and a .588 attack clip.
- Wesleyan came out hot to start the match and totaled 16 kills while only recording one error for a .341 hitting percentage. The Cardinals opened up on a 5-1 run and never looked back, taking the first set by a six-point margin following a service error by Springfield.
- In the second frame, Wesleyan took another big lead early and went up 10-4 following a 3-0 run. The Cardinals held an eight-point advantage for most of the set and a kill by Hilton off an assist from Kaira Muraoka-Robertson sealed the win.
- Trailing 6-5 early in the third, Wesleyan rallied with a 6-1 run to pull ahead. The Cardinals led the rest of the way and closed out the set with a 10-2 run to win decisively.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Stasie Litinsky and Mia Hogan recorded eight and six kills, respectively. Muraoka-Robertson finished with 27 assists and 10 digs, and Phia Bellizzi led the defense with a match-high 15 digs.
- Springfield was led by Jen Donnelly with seven kills and Camryn Bancroft with six. Sara Labadorf tallied 23 assists and six digs, while Donnelly and Hayley Kmetz recorded 11 digs each.