Nov. 14, 2003
S. INDIANA STUNS NKU IN FIVE GAMES
Screaming Eagles rally from 2-0 deficit to defeat NKU in GLVC semifinals
HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. - This will go down as one the most stunning come-from-behind victories in the history of Regents Hall.
And it wasnt Northern Kentucky University that turned the trick.
In the semifinals of the Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament Friday night, the NKU volleyball team had rolled past the University of Southern Indiana during the first two games and appeared on the verge of ending the Screaming Eagles one-year reign as GLVC champions. The Norse won the opening two games by scores of 30-15, 30-24, and Southern Indiana showed no signs of possibly mounting a comeback.
Then, out of nowhere, it happened. The momentum changed somewhere between the second and third games, and when the match ended, fifth-seeded Southern Indiana had pulled off the upset over the top-seeded Norse.
Southern Indiana stunned NKU, 15-30, 24-30, 30-23, 30-27, 15-10, to advance to Saturdays 2 p.m. GLVC championship match against the University of Indianapolis in Regents Hall. NKU - which had been in the GLVC championship match nine straight years - dropped to 24-11 and will have to wait until Sunday night to see if it will receive an at-large berth in the NCAA Division II Tournament.
The Norse were ranked No. 3 in the latest NCAA II Great Lakes Region poll, and the top six teams will earn berths. Since there were no upsets in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament, NKU figures to receive an NCAA berth despite the loss on Friday.
Southern Indiana (21-8), meanwhile, entered the GLVC Tournament knowing it had to win the leagues automatic berth in order to qualify, and the Screaming Eagles played that way against NKU during the final three games. Three Southern Indiana players - Laura Ellerbusch, Leeanne Gross and Ashley Riordan - each collected 15 kills and combined for 13 blocks against NKU.
Ellerbusch and Gross particularly hurt NKU in the middle with their blocking, and Southern Indiana finished with a 22-18 edge in that category.
Cammi Welter led NKU with 21 kills, 18 digs and a .381 hitting percentage, while Kristin Koralewski finished with 19 kills and 18 digs. It was the 25th double-double of the season for Koralewski, who was named GLVC Player of the Year earlier on Friday.
Southern Indiana built a 6-1 lead in the fifth game, but NKU rallied to tie the score at 9-9. The Screaming Eagles, however, ended the game with a 6-1 run for the 15-10 win. Gross capped the comeback by hammering down her 15th kill of the match.
Sara Taylor finished with 63 assists and three service aces for NKU, while Nicole Salisbury added 13 kills and 10 digs. The Norse hit .297 as a team, compared to .228 for Southern Indiana.
In the final two games, though, NKU converted just 22 of 60 attacks with 11 errors.
GLVC Volleyball Tournament
(hosted by Northern Kentucky University)
Thursday, Nov. 13
#3 Indianapolis def. #6 Wisconsin-Parkside, 3-0
#2 SIUE def. #7 Lewis, 3-1
#5 Southern Indiana def. #4 Quincy, 3-0
#1 NKU def. #8 Missouri-St. Louis, 3-0
Friday, Nov. 14
Indianapolis def. SIUE, 3-1
Southern Indiana def. NKU, 3-2
Saturday, Nov. 15
Southern Indiana vs. Indianapolis, 2 p.m.