Gallaudet storms back to beat Mary Washington, advance to CAC championship
FREDERICKSBURG, Va. - The Gallaudet University volleyball team outscored University of Mary Washington 30-12 in the final two sets to win 3-2 in the Capital Athletic Conference semifinal round on the road Thursday night. Third-seed Gallaudet will play for a sixth CAC title and an automatic berth into the NCAA Division III tournament on Saturday, November 7, at top-seed Salisbury University. Game time for Saturday has not been announced yet.
Gallaudet (24-13) trailed second-seed Mary Washington 10-15 in the fourth set, down 2-1, but the Eagles (18-11) couldn't close out the match as they committed five service errors. The Bison seized the moment and won the fourth set 25-20. GU rode the momentum into the fifth set and won 15-7. UMW won the first and third sets while Gallaudet evened the match in the second and fourth sets en route to the 19-25, 25-23, 23-25, 25-20, 15-7 victory.
Salisbury (29-4), the two-time defending conference champions, had its hands full with fourth-seed York (Pa.) College as the Spartans (18-14) forced the Sea Gulls to a fifth set but SU won 24-26, 25-23, 25-22, 19-25, 15-6. Salisbury defeated Gallaudet earlier in the season 3-1 at the Maggs Center. GU was without senior libero Shana Lehmann (Frederick, Md.), who ranks 13th in the nation in digs per set, in the loss.
Senior outside hitter Justine Jeter (Noblesville, Ind.) led the Bison with 18 kills and 13 digs while fellow senior outside hitter Amanda Krieger (Carmel, Ind.) recorded 11 kills, six digs and four service aces. Freshman Ann Whited (Fishers, Ind.) slammed home 16 kills and added seven digs. Lehmann came up with a team-high 29 digs and sophomore setter Paige Johnson (North Richland Hills, Texas) passed out 42 assists and 15 digs.
Since 1991, Gallaudet has won seven conference championships but had to vacate the 2005 and '06 titles. Before '05, the last time the Bison captured a CAC championship was in '03. This is Gallaudet's final season in the CAC as the Bison are joining the North Eastern Athletic Conference next year.