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