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Cardinals Fall in NCAA Tourney Opener to Rockhurst, 3-0

Kaylee Schmitt had a match-high 12 kills in the NCAA Tournament contest vs. Rockhurst...
Kaylee Schmitt had a match-high 12 kills in the NCAA Tournament contest vs. Rockhurst...

The Basics 

Score: Rockhurst 3, Saginaw Valley 0 - NCAA Midwest Regional First Round
Records: #2 RU (32-3) | #7 SVSU (22-9)
Location: Jim Wink Arena - Big Rapids, Mich. 

BIG RAPIDS, Mich. – Competing in the NCAA Division II National Tournament for the fourth time, the SVSU volleyball team entered this year's event as the No. 7 seed in the Midwest Region. That seeding pitted the Cardinals against the No. 2 seeded Rockhurst Hawks in the regional opener at Ferris State University's Jim Wink Arena. The Cardinals couldn't keep pace with a hot-hitting Rockhurst team and would fall to the Hawks by a score of 3-0.

The Hawks took the opening set by a score of 25-13 to grab a quick 1-0 lead in the match. Rockhurst hit .368 in the opener with 16 kills while holding the Cardinals to a .075 mark and eight attack errors aside from their 11 kills.

Rockhurst followed that up by taking a 2-0 advantage with a 25-14 win in the second frame. The Hawks hit .419 in the second set with 14 kills and a single attack error. SVSU had 12 kills but eight more errors were included in the .111 hitting percentage for the second set.

The second-seeded Hawks continued and closed-out the match 3-0 after posting a 25-15 edge in the third and final set of the contest. The Cardinals posted 12 kills in the third frame and Rockhurst posted 11, but SVSU was plagued by nine more errors on the offensive end.

Inside the Boxscore

  • The Hawks hit .318 in the match compared to .083 for the Cardinals. 
  • Kaylee Schmitt notched a match-high 12 kills while hitting .333 for the Cards and adding two blocks.
  • Brooke Tiller had a team-high 18 digs while Tamara Heller chipped-in with 13 to help anchor the defense.
  • McKenzie Schuster added six kills on the offensive end for SVSU.
  • Kelly Vellucci had 28 assists in the contest for the Cardinals.
  • Rockhurst was led by Mattie Gray's 12 kills (.500), Anne Hellwege's 22 digs and Whitney Kostal's 37 helpers. 

Chili's "Player of the Match" 

Schmitt earned Chili's Player of the Match honors after posting the match-best 12 kills. Her hitting percentage for the match was .333 and she added a pair of blocks in the contest.

Up Next... 
The 2015 season ends for the Cardinals with the team competing in its fourth NCAA Division II Tournament. SVSU finishes with 22 victories, just the fifth time the program has surpassed the 20-win plateau in the program's 36-year history. The Cards graduate just two student-athletes from this year; middle hitter Morgan Eddy and the 2015 GLIAC Libero of the Year and Second Team All-Midwest Region honoree, Brooke Tiller. Rockhurst will advance to Friday's Midwest Region Second Round and face the winner of No. 3 Lewis and No. 6 Grand Valley State. That Regional Semifinal match will feature a first serve of 7:30 p.m.