HUNTINGDON, Pennsylvania – The Heidelberg University volleyball team swept McDaniel College in the opening game of the NCAA Regional Tournament on Friday. The No. 3 seed Student Princes were dominant on attack and defense and defeated the No. 6 seed Green Terror – 25-23, 25-15, 25-12.
With the win, Heidelberg (27-6) advances to face the winner of the Wittenberg – Bluffton match on Saturday. McDaniel's season ends at 21-8.
Heidelberg attacked .297 as a team and held McDaniel to .083.
Jamie Kluding led the Heidelberg attack with 15 kills (.375). Janessa Scott added 12 kills. AVCA All-District honoree Sarah Parker had seven kills in 11 attacks for a team-high .465 attack percentage.
Setter Karlie DiRuzza dished up an even 30 assists on the afternoon.
Heidelberg jumped out to a 9-4 lead, prompting a Green Terror timeout. After the break, the Student Princes began to struggle with serve receive and allowed McDaniel to get back into the set.
After taking a timeout trailing 14-13, Heidelberg regained momentum immediately. A McDaniel service error ignited a 6-1 run for Heidelberg. Following a kill by Sarah Parker, McDaniel called their second timeout, trailing 18-15.
At 23-19, three straight points by the Green Terror forced Heidelberg head coach Jason Miller into calling his second timeout. Up 24-23, Jamie Kluding tallied her sixth kill of the set to give HU the 25-23 win.
In a convincing 25-15 win, Heidelberg controlled play throughout. Aside from a three-point Green Terror run early, the Student Princes did not allow McDaniel to string together more than one point.
Heidelberg attacked at a .292 clip and held their opponent to an even .100 in the second set.
Start to finish, the Student Princes dominated the final set. Again, the Green Terror had difficulty stringing together rallies, which allowed the Berg to dial up their intensity. A 9-2 run early in the frame gave Heidelberg a 13-5 lead. A McDaniel timeout did little to stop Heidelberg, who closed the match with a 25-12 win.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
This is the second time in the past two seasons that a Heidelberg team competed at Juniata College. Heidelberg women's basketball ventured to central Pennsylvania for a pair of games last season.
With the win, the Student Princes have advanced to the round of 32 for the fifth time in school history. The Tricolor has never advanced to the round of 16.
DiRuzza's 30 assists brought her season total to 1,288 – the sixth-highest total in program history.
Parker's seven kills brought her season total to 455, which is the 5th-highest in program history, passing her own total of 449 from last year and Amber Welfle's 453 in 2013.
Heidelberg has won 11 straight matches.
Head coach Jason Miller on the tight first set: "We came out and scored a few points right away, and I thought that would settle us into the match ... But for whatever reason, we made a couple mistakes and we seemed to get a bit nervous ... I reminded them that I'm fully confident of them and their abilities ... I think they came out and missed a serve and we settled in."
Junior setter Karlie DiRuzza on her performance: "Coach told me to run the offense through the pins today, and I had Jamie and Janessa out there, so I was confident out there. "
Senior Jamie Kluding on her 15-kill performance: "It was a matter of seeing my block and hitting the open spots."
Heidelberg faces the Wittenberg/Bluffton winner on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. Either would be a familiar foe for the Student Princes, as they defeated Bluffton in five sets on September 5th while they fell to Wittenberg in four sets back on September 19th.