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Wooster eliminates DU from NCAC Tournament

Marija Pavlick  |  Photo by Jace Delgado
Marija Pavlick | Photo by Jace Delgado

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio – Denison volleyball suffered a 3-1 loss (19-25, 19-25, 25-20, 19-25) to the seventh-seeded College of Wooster on Friday afternoon in the first round of the North Coast Athletic Conference Tournament hosted at Wittenberg University.

Entering the conference tournament as the No. 6 seed, the Big Red dropped the first two sets to the Scots 25-19, despite a .258 hitting percentage in the second set.

Trailing Wooster 2-0, Denison rallied in the third set after dropping the first two points of the frame. Led by kills from Emma Woerner and Alex Tubbs, along with a service ace from Julia Miller, DU jumped to a 5-3 advantage.

Tied at 18-18 in the third set, five combined kills from Woerner and Tubbs helped the Big Red force the fourth frame after taking seven of the last eight points from Wooster.

Starting the final set with a 4-0 lead following four-straight kills from Woerner, Tubbs, and freshman Payton McElfresh, the Scots used back-to-back DU attacking errors to tie the set at 4-4.

Denison jumped back out to a 9-7 advantage after Marija Pavlick connected on a service ace and Woerner notched another kill, but Wooster collected eight of the next 11 points to go back in front, 15-12.

A kill from Kaila Kasper cut the DU deficit to 19-18, but the Scots won the next four points on kills from Ashley Plassard and Mayia Karagianni and secured the match with a 25-19 victory. The loss dropped the Big Red from the conference tournament and sent their overall record to 11-15. Wooster improved to 15-11 on the season as they advance to play No. 3 Hiram on Friday night at 7 p.m.

Woerner led the Big Red with 14 kills and 10 digs while totaling a kill rate of .222. Tubbs followed with nine kills and McElfresh finished with eight kills and 17 digs. Pavlick added 18 digs and Miller paced DU with 33 assists. Friday's performance for Miller vaulted her over 2,000 assists for her career, finishing her time in Granville with 2,017.

Wooster's Eleri Miller finished in a tie for the match-high with 14 kills, while Botsch added 44 assists and Gabrielle Basinski chipped in 28 digs.

Denison finished the 2018 season with an overall record of 11-15 while going 3-5 in conference play.