VB season ends in NCAA Tournament

VB season ends in NCAA Tournament

WHITEWATER, Wisconsin -- The Heidelberg University volleyball team fell in five sets to Washington University in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament 21-25, 25-21, 25-24, 23-25, 13-15. Heidelberg's season comes to an end. The Student Princes finish the year with a 23-10 record. 

The Berg got off to a slow start, as they trailed the entire first set. Washington held a 20-14 advantage before the Student Princes made a small run to chip away at their lead. Back to back kills by Sarah Parker cut the lead to 20-18, but the Bears went on to take the opening set 25-21.

HU scored five straight to give themselves a 12-7 lead. Within that stretch Mariah Sullivan recorded two service aces. The Bears went on a four-point run, where they cut the Heidelberg lead to 20-18 -- aided by three aces. The Student Princes stopped the Washington momentum with a Sullivan kill. HU won the second set 25-21 thanks to a kill down the line from Morgan Strenk.

Heidelberg went on a 10-3 run in the third set, holding all of the momentum en route to a commanding 25-14 win. A block from Karlie DiRuzza and Parker sealed the HU victory.

Washington scored seven straight points to turn a 23-19 deficit into a 25-23 win, forcing a decisive fifth set. Heidelberg attacked at a .043 clip in the fourth set.

In the final set, the Student Princes opened with a 4-1 lead, but the Bears stormed back to take an 8-6 lead. Washington held the momentum for the remainder of the set, ending HU's season.


Parker paced the Heidelberg offense with 24 kills and seven blocks. Strenk added 12 kills.

DiRuzza finished the match with 52 assists. Junior libero Rachel Raimondo recorded 22 digs while Taylor Arbogast tallied 19.

Sullivan had four service aces in the match.

Heidelberg is 0-6 against Washington.

For her career, Parker tallied 1,769 kills -- 10 shy of tying the record of 1,779 held by Christina Siegel (2002-05).

Head coach Jason Miller on the match: "I felt we played really hard and put up a great fight ... I am proud of the effort given."

Miller on the senior class: "This does not take away from what our senior class has been able to do ... They certainly left a legacy."

DiRuzza on the fifth set: "We were focusing on the points we lost rather than the next point."

Parker on her career: "Division III says so much for an athlete ... We've found this balance and we really are student-athletes."

For the second straight year, HU's season concludes in the NCAA Tournament.