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Mount volleyball team claims HCAC Tournament title with a 3-0 win over Transylvania University

Sunday, November 04, 2012
by Dane Neumeister

Junior middle hitter Nicole Sherpensky (Cincinnati, OH/Northwest) led a balanced Mount hitting attack on Sunday afternoon, helping the Lions post a 3-0 win at home over Transylvania University and allowing the Mount to claim the HCAC Tournament Championship. The Lions, 14-14 on the season, will play in the NCAA Division III Regional Tournament this coming week, with the date and opponent to be announced.

On Monday, Nov. 5 at 11:00 AM, the NCAA will be webstreaming the Division III Women’s Volleyball Selection show on NCAA.com. Click here to see the Selection show.

The two teams started out the match today with neither team able to pull away early. After ties of nine-all and 14-all, the Lions jumped out to a 17-15 lead after a kill by Stephanie Chisholm (Cincinnati, OH/Oak Hills). The two teams pulled even again at 17-all, and Transy took a 21-18 lead after a Mount hitting error. Sherpensky, along with teammates Bethani Ritter (Cincinnati, OH/McAuley) and Hannah Vanarsdall (Cincinnati, OH/McAuley), among others, then led the Lions comeback, as they fought back from a 24-20 deficit to tie the match at 24-all. A Pioneers hitting error, and a kill by Sherpensky enabled the Lions to take the first set, 26-24.

The Lions came out strong in the second set against Transy, grabbing a 5-4 lead behind the balanced play of Sherpensky, and went on to a 14-7 lead when Torrie Whitmore (Mason, OH/Mason) blasted a kill. The closest the Pioneers would get the rest of the way was to within three points, the last at 21-18 with the Lions in the lead. Vanarsdall had a kill to make the score 23-19, and Jaclyn Stenger (Cincinnati, OH/Oak Hills) added an ace, as the match ended on a Transy hitting error, 25-19.

Transy came out in set three determined to push the match to another set, jumping out to a 11-5 lead before a Mount timeout. The Lions took advantage of numerous Pioneers' hitting errors during the midpoint of the match and knotted the score at 14-all when Ritter had a kill. Transy would go on to post a 21-17 lead, and was up 22-17 before the Lions rolled out their comeback, going on to a 29-27 third set and match clinching victory. Transy led the match 25-24 after a kill but Sherpensky put the match away for the Lions, scoring the last two points, including a match-ending block.

Sherpensky and Ritter had a team-high 11 kills while Sherpensky added one solo block and nine block assists. Ritter added three aces while Michelle Woods (Ft. Wright, KY/Newport Central Catholic) had 10 digs. Janelle Davis (Convoy, OH/Wayne Trace) had 31 assists and eight digs. Vanarsdall chipped in nine kills and nine assists as the Mount recorded 39 team kills and held a .177 to .075 hitting percentage edge.

Sherpensky was named the Tournament MVP while Vanarsdall and Woods were named to the All-Tournament team. Transylvania players Meghan Bowers and Allegra Guerrettaz were named to the All-Tournament Team, as were Defiance College's Alexis Pierce and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology's Sarah Jensen.

The championship win for the Mount was their 12th HCAC tournament title, and their first since 2010. The Lions have won or shared the HCAC regular season title 13 times. They have been a member of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference since 1998.

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