Postseason berth clinched in win over Gators

Claire Koneval
Claire Koneval

The Denison University volleyball team clinched a berth in the North Coast Athletic Conference Tournament with a 3-0 (25-20, 25-18, 25-23) victory over Allegheny College on Saturday in Granville, Ohio.  The NCAC Tournament appearance is DU's first since 2006.  The Big Red also edged Rose-Hulman in five sets (25-19, 26-28, 19-25, 25-22, 20-18) to close out the regular season.

Against the Gators, junior Lauren Strowder logged a match-high 14 kills, while Megan Early and Kristen Hughes posted nine and eight kills, respectively.  Rookie Lauren Gustafson recorded eight kills in 11 attempts to help the attack, while setter Claire Koneval dished out 35 assists.  Defensively, senior Lauren Weidner and junior Brooke Beavers notched 19 and 12 digs each, while Strowder blocked four shots, and Early had three rejections.

Against Rose-Hulman, Strowder paced the DU offense with a career-high tying 22 kills.  The junior also posted a .514 hitting percentage in the five-set match.  Also aiding the attack were Early with 13 kills, and Gustafson and Madison Owen with 11 kills apiece.  Koneval registered a career-high 66 assists, while Beavers served up three aces.  Weidner led the defense with 41 digs, while Strowder, Owen, Hughes and Early all had three blocks.

Denison finishes the regular season with a 7-7 mark in NCAC play.  The Big Red will take a 12-17 record into next week's NCAC Volleyball Tournament.  DU opens tournament play on Friday (Nov. 5) against top-seeded Wittenberg at 5:30 p.m. in Springfield, Ohio.

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