Volleyball advances to national tournament

Last week the Washburn volleyball team continued their stellar season as they won the NCAA Central Region Championship, qualifying them to the Elite Eight in Pittsburgh, PA. 

In the quarterfinals, they faced the fifth-ranked Northern State Wolves. It was an easy opening set as Washburn jumped to an early lead and eventually claimed a 25-9 first set win. The rest of the match, however, was more closely contested. The Ichabod’s dropped the next two sets 25-23 and 25-21 to put their backs against the wall. They did not blink and bounced back to win set four 25-23, and then outlasted the Wolves 15-12 in the final set to claim the victory.

The semifinals pitted Washburn against another highly ranked opponent, Minnesota-Duluth. Although each set was tight, Washburn did not lose a set and completed the sweep. After trailing for most of the first set, Washburn eventually made a late run to tie at 23 before taking the next two points to win 25-23. Washburn led the second set from the start and finished 25-18. With another come from behind effort in the third set, Washburn trailed 16-11. A few timely runs left the teams tied at 23, again. Washburn triumphed the final set 27-25 and won the match.

The Ichabod’s faced the two-time defending national champion Concordia-St. Paul Golden Bears in the regional final.

Washburn won the first set 25-22, but then found themselves behind after being defeated in the next two sets. The heart of the Ichabods prevailed as they stayed in the match by winning the fourth set 25-18.

The fifth set featured a punch and counter between the two teams as Washburn led early 5-1 then 8-4 before the deficit was trimmed to 8-7. Leading 11-10, Washburn scored three straight to set up match point which Allison Maxwell delivered, sending Washburn back to the national tournament for just the second time in school history.

Washburn has been seeded fifth in the national tournament and will face the fourth seeded Wingate Bulldogs in the quarterfinals on Nov. 29 at 6:30 p.m. in Pittsburgh.