Spartans Defeat Mary Washington 3-1 for First-Ever NCAA Tournament Victory

Spartans Defeat Mary Washington 3-1 for First-Ever NCAA Tournament Victory

The Case Western Reserve University volleyball team made program history on Friday night, defeating the University of Mary Washington 3-1 to claim the team's first postseason win ever in the first round of the NCAA Division III Championships in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania.

Making just its second-ever postseason appearance, Case Western Reserve (25-7) took the first two sets off Mary Washington (23-8) by scores of 25-20 and 25-19, hitting .286 in the first set, followed by a .394 hitting percentage in the second to take the two-set advantage.  The Eagles battled back for a 25-19 win in the third set to stay alive, but CWRU shut the door on Mary Washington with a come-from-behind 25-23 victory in the fourth set to advance in the tournament.

The Spartans will advance to the second round of the NCAA Championships on Saturday, where they will face the winner of the first-round match between host and nationally third-ranked Juniata College and Franciscan University, to be played later tonight.  Saturday's second-round game is slated for a 6:00 p.m. start.

Senior Haley Kauffman finished the match with a team-best 13 kills with junior Marian Barton adding on 11 for the match.  Freshman Shannon Carroll notched 39 assists and 15 digs, with senior Katie Best pacing the squad with 18 digs.

With the first set tied at 15-15, the Spartans scored three-straight points and 10 of the final 15 to secure a 1-0 edge in the match.

Down two in the second set, 15-13, CWRU mounted another late rally, this time scoring six-straight points to go onto 19-15.  Mary Washington would pull back within a point at 20-19, but the Spartans scored the final five points in the set to claim the 2-0 advantage.

After struggling through the third set, CWRU trailed by as many as four in the fourth, down 12-8 to the Eagles.  However, the Spartans battled back, and after tying the match at 21-21, went on to win the match by scoring four of the final six points.

Live video and statistics for Saturday's second-round match against either Juniata or Franciscan are available at http://portal.stretchinternet.com/juniata/portal.htm?eventId=251073&streamType=video