Updated: Saturday, 17 Nov 2012, 10:37 PM EST
Published : Saturday, 17 Nov 2012, 10:37 PM EST
FARGO, N.D. – The IPFW women's volleyball team is heading to the NCAA Tournament as Summit League champions after defeating IUPUI on Saturday night 3-0 (25-15, 25-12, 25-20).
IPFW (25-6) dominated IUPUI in the first two sets of the championship match and then held off the Jaguars for a 25-20 victory in the third set which sealed the championship. Emily Spencer, Jessie Manwaring, and Hailie Ripley led the charge for the IPFW offense on Saturday. Spencer ended the night with a match-high 15 kills to go along with nine digs and five blocks. The duo of Ripley and Manwaring each hit .333 against IUPUI. Ripley recorded nine kills and six blocks while Manwaring added 11 kills.
Megan Steenhuysen recorded 40 assists in the championship match while also contributing with two kills, six digs, and two blocks. Steenhuysen was named Tournament MVP after the win.
Tessa McGill was on top of her game on Saturday as she recorded a match-high 20 digs to go along with four service aces. McGill tied her career-high with four service aces, a total that she has reached on three occasions including earlier this year with four at South Dakota State.
Haley Emenhiser and Sarah Heckman also recorded kills against IUPUI on Saturday night. Emenhiser hit at a .200 clip to end the night with six kills while Heckman was successful on all three of her attempts.
The Mastodons came out focused in the opening set as a seven-point run changed the score from a 10-10 tie to a 17-10 advantage for IPFW. Tessa McGill had two service aces during that stretch and Jessie Manwaring had back-to-back kills. IUPUI could not recover from the seven point swing as the 'Dons went up 1-0 with a 25-15 win.
Set two also featured a series of scoring runs for the Mastodons. IPFW jumped out to a 4-0 lead early, but attack errors got IUPUI back into the game at 5-4. Haley Emenhiser capped off a three-point run which pushed IPFW's lead to 13-7 and IUPUI burned their first timeout of the second set immediately after. The break in the action didn't stop IPFW as another scoring run increased the lead to 18-9 and the final run of the set put the score at 23-10. Back-to-back kills from Emily Spencer put the Mastodons in front 2-0 as IPFW recorded a 25-12 win.
The third set was by far the most competitive as each team battled back and forth early on in the game. IUPUI felt the momentum shift after kills from Manwaring and Ripley as they used a timeout with the scoreboard reading 16-12 in favor of the 'Dons. A service error broke the IPFW scoring streak out of the timeout, but it was a service ace that made IUPUI use their final timeout of the set as Megan Steenhuysen pushed the IPFW lead to 22-17 with the championship on the line. IUPUI scored two points after the timeout to cut the lead to 22-19 which allowed Head Coach Kelley Hartley Hutton to use her first timeout of the game. Sarah Heckman and Haley Emenhiser scored after the pause in the action to get IPFW to match point and Emenhiser struck again for the game-winner.
The Division I Women's Volleyball Committee will conduct selections for the 2012 NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championship Nov. 24-25. The 64-team field will be announced during a selection show on ESPNU, Sunday, Nov. 25, at 4 p.m. ET. The 64-team field will be selected from 328 NCAA Division I institutions sponsoring the sport of women's volleyball. Of the 64 teams, 31 teams will receive automatic qualification with the remaining best 33 teams selected on an at-large basis.
First and second round competition of the NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championship will be held at 16 campus sites Nov. 29-30 or Nov. 30-Dec. 1. Winners advance to four regional tournaments.
Regionals for the NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championship will be held Dec. 7-8. The four predetermined sites are: Haas Pavilion in Berkeley, Calif., CenturyLink Center Omaha in Omaha, Neb., Gregory Gymnasium in Austin, Texas, and Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, Ind. Each quarterfinal winner will advance to semifinal action of the 2012 NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championship in Louisville, Ky., on Dec. 13.
The 2012 NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championship will be held at the KFC YUM! Center in Louisville, Ky., for the first time. Quarterfinal winners will compete in semifinal matches held Dec. 13 at 7 or 9 p.m. ET. The national championship match of the NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball will be played 7 p.m. ET, Dec. 15.
IPFW has only appeared in the NCAA Tournament once before as the 2009 team that featured McGill, Steenhuysen, Emenhiser, and Manwaring as freshmen lost to No. 5 Illinois in the first round.
Make sure to check back at gomastodons.com to see who the Mastodons will face in the NCAA tournament.
2012 Summit League Women's Volleyball All-Tournament Team
Meghan Bray, Oakland
Megan Steenhuysen, Fort Wayne (MVP)
Emily Lucas, Kansas City
Kaitlyn Hickey, IUPUI
Tessa McGill, Fort Wayne
Bethany Fogler, IUPUI
Emily Spencer, Fort Wayne
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