The Northern Kentucky University volleyball team was upset in the first round of the Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament by Southern Indiana 3-2, on Nov. 14 in Romeoville, Ill.
The Screaming Eagles (17-14), the No. 3 seed in the GLVC West Divison, rallied from a 9-7 deficit to claim the win in the fifth set of the match and knock out the GLVC East’s No. 2 seeded Norse (27-7).
Southern Indiana posted a mere .172 hitting percentage as a team but forced the match into five sets, slightly winning the first and fourth sets- by scores of 25-23 and 26-24, respectfully.
The No. 24 nationally ranked Norse, who attacked at a .234 hitting percentage as a team, won the second and thirds sets, both, 25-18 but were unable to hold onto a two-point lead in the final set.
NKU maintained the lead throughout much of the set but an attaching error by Kelsey Wesaw allowed Southern Indiana to tie the set at nine and begin a 9-4 run.
Wesaw led the Norse offense, collecting 19 kills and attacking at a .289 clip, and Kristina Eisenmenger contributed 16 kills with a .222 hitting percentage, lifting her career total kill count to 1,715, and passing Bethany Gastright on NKU’s all time career leaders list. Eisenmenger now owns the No. 2 spot on the career leaders list for kills and is second only to Assistant Coach Liz Holmes (1,850).
Kim Nemcek recorded 14 kills, with nine digs, on the night, and Noelle Peterson added 12 kills.
The Screaming Eagles, led by Courtney Bealor-who recorded 17 kills at a .205 hitting percentage- as well as Kathi Hinman and Brittani Oliver-who added 12 kills each-will now move onto face the top seed from the GLVC West Divison, Missouri-St. Louis, Nov. 15 in Romeoville, Ill.
The Norse, who has now been knocked out in the first round of GLVC tournament play for the third consecutive year, will have to hope for an at-large bid for a berth in the 2008 NCAA Division II Tournament, which begins Nov. 20.
Southern Indiana’s victory marked the first time the Screaming Eagles have won against the Norse since 2004, and the third consecutive time they have defeated NKU in a GLVC tournament game. Southern Indiana also claimed 3-2 victory against the Norse in the 2003 GVLC tournament.
Click here for stats on the NKU/Southern Indiana match.