Nov. 22, 2003
NKU FALLS TO GRAND VALLEY IN FINALS
Lakers win fourth straight Great Lakes Region championship
MARQUETTE, Mich. - Sabrina Bird finished with 14 kills, four blocks and a .684 hitting percentage Saturday night as the Grand Valley State University volleyball team defeated Northern Kentucky University, 30-20, 30-27, 30-25, in the finals of the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Region Tournament at Vandament Arena.
Stephanie Maciasz added nine kills and eight blocks as third-seeded Grand Valley State won its fourth consecutive Great Lakes Region championship and earned the trip to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight. The Lakers (29-7) hit .404 as a team - including .528 in the first game - to capture the Great Lakes Region title.
In the first game, NKU cut Grand Valley States lead to 21-16, but the Lakers closed the set with a 9-4 run. NKU had a hard time passing off the serve throughout the match.
We served aggressively, and it took (NKU) out of their offense, Grand Valley State head coach Deanne Scanlon said.
NKUs Kristin Koralewski collected eight of her team-leading 14 kills in the second game, but the Norse were never able to get the lead. With the score at 29-27, Bird - the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Year - ended the game with a kill to give Grand Valley State a 2-0 lead.
In the third game, NKU rallied and tied the match at 22-22. But Grand Valley States superior blocking took over with consecutive blocks at points 24 and 25.
Were not so tall, so if we dont pass well it is hard for us to win, NKU coach Carlos Chia said.
Cammi Welter added nine kills for NKU (26-12), and Nicole Salisbury had six kills and 11 digs. Sara Taylor finished with 30 assists.
Grand Valley State also eliminated NKU from the NCAA Tournament in both 2000 and 2001.
NCAA Division II Great Lakes Regional
(at Marquette, Mich.)
Thurs., Nov. 20
#3 Grand Valley State def. #6 Indianapolis, 3-2
#5 Northern Kentucky def. #4 Findlay, 3-1
Fri., Nov. 21
Grand Valley State def. Wheeling Jesuit, 3-2
Northern Kentucky def. Northern Michigan, 3-1
Sat., Nov. 22
Grand Valley State def. Northern Kentucky, 3-0