No. 14 Regis Blocks No. 12 Mines' RMAC Sweep Attempt With 3-1 Victory In RMAC Tournament Championship
GOLDEN – Visiting and 14th-ranked Regis used 22 blocks to limit No. 12 Colorado School of Mines to a .166 attack percentage in posting a 3-1 victory over the Orediggers in the RMAC Tournament Championship on Saturday evening at Lockridge Arena in Golden.
Mines (25-6) suffered just its third setback since the start of the RMAC schedule in September with the loss, and the victory by the Rangers (25-8) snapped a four-match winning streak by Mines in the all-time series.
Regis claimed the victory behind set scores of 25-16, 23-25, 25-22 and 25-23 which secured the automatic berth from the RMAC in the upcoming NCAA Division II South Central Regional Tournament.
With Regis entering the match ranked No. 1 in the regional rankings and Mines ranked No. 2, Saturday's RMAC final appeared to be the match to decide the host site of the upcoming regional tournament. Both squads will hear their seed and the host site when the NCAA Selection show takes place on Sunday evening at 8 p.m. (MST) on NCAA.com.
Mines was led once again by senior and RMAC Offensive Player of the Year, Jackie Stabell, who posted a team-high 18 kills on a .289 attack percentage. She now needs just three kills to eclipse 400 in a season for the second-consecutive campaign. Her 38 total kills during the semifinal and championship rounds of the tournament allowed her to be selected as a member of the 2012 RMAC All-Tournament Team.
Sophomore Sarah Pekarek followed Stabell with nine kills at a .375 clip while adding a team-high 22 digs defensively.
Stellar front-line defense by the Rangers limited the Orediggers' All-RMAC middles Holly Hutchison and Melanie Wannamaker to just 13 kills and a total of 15 attack errors.
Freshman Danielle Johnson-Hazlewood posted 46 assists and four kills on offense while adding 17 digs and two blocks on the defensive end to record her 13th double-double of the season. Her pair of double-doubles in the semifinal and championship rounds of the tournament allowed her to be selected as a member of the 2012 RMAC All-Tournament Team.
Junior Hannah Margheim posted 21 digs defensively while senior Alese Madenwald and freshman Corrine Din added 10 and seven, respectively.
Regis stormed out of the gate with an 11-6 lead in the first set, which forced a Mines timeout. The squad proceeded to increase its lead to 16-9, and eventually took the opener by a score of 25-16.
The second set featured 12 tie scores and six lead changes – all pushing the score to a 23-23 tie. Mines posted the final two points of the set to tie up the match at 1-1.
The third set again saw the two teams battle back-and-forth, including a Regis lead of 22-21, but a pair of kills by the Rangers and an attack error by Mines allowed the visitors to take the third set, 25-22.
The deciding set was again very close, with the teams tying up the score at 12-12, but Regis would take a small lead at 17-13. The Rangers then answered every Mines' rebuttal with a point of their own, and eventually took the set 25-23, and the match 3-1.
The Orediggers will hear who and where they will be playing in the NCAA Tournament when the field is officially announced live over the Internet on NCAA.com. The NCAA Division II Volleyball Selection Show is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. (MST).
2012 RMAC All-Tournament Team
MVP – Katie Klein, Regis
Jackie Stabell, Colorado School of Mines
Makayla Higgins, Regis
Danielle Johnson-Hazlewood, Colorado School of Mines
Caitie Breaux, Regis
Deprece Washington, Adams State
Taylor Sturms, Colorado Christian