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Knights volleyball out of NCAA Tourney

The volleyball team took to the court tonight against the Central College Dutch in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. Carleton, ranked No. 25 in the latest CSTV/AVCA poll, was making its 3rd all-time appearance in the national tournament. Unfortunately for the Knights, their stay was brief as the Dutch swept Carleton by game scores of 30-27, 30-23 and 30-21.

Tonight’s result contrasts an earlier season matchup when the Knights swept the No. 17 Dutch back in October. In that contest, however, Central played without starting setter Terri Berger. This evening she was available and was a big factor in the outcome, accumulating 48 assists.
Central (27-8) came into the contest having won its last 10 matches and carried that momentum through this first-round matchup.

In the opening game, the Dutch jumped out to a big lead, but Carleton slowly whittled away at the deficit and battled back to tie the score at 26-26. Central withstood the charge, though, and ran off four of the next five points to take the first game.

Game 2 opened with Carleton staring at a 13-6 deficit, but the Knights scored 15 of the next 18 points to trim the Dutch lead to a single point, 22-21. The comeback may have taken too much out of Carleton as the Knights quickly found themselves facing a two game deficit.

Unfortunately, game 3 was more of the same. Central opened up a 14-7 advantage and held off the Knights for a 30-21 victory.

“I’m really proud of my team,” said Head Coach Heidi Luehmann Jaynes. “Obviously, we’d have preferred a different outcome, but I thought they played extremely hard tonight. When faced with adversity, they refused to give up.”

This was the final match in the collegiate careers of seniors Heather La Chapelle ; Rachel Popielarz ; Samantha Hendricks and Libby Ritz.

“The seniors deserve a lot of credit for the success of this year’s team. They did a great job leading us all season,” said Jaynes.

Outside hitter Megan La Chapelle ’09 had a double-double for the Knights, recording 10 kills and 16 digs.

Other statistical leaders for Carleton included 33 assists for Heather La Chapelle, 10 kills for Hendricks and 16 digs for libero Laura Barsness ’10.

-Courtesy of Sports Information

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