John Dodderidge, Sports Information Director
DENVER – For the second time in three years, the Rockhurst volleyball team is headed to the NCAA Division II national semifinals.
The 19th-ranked Hawks posted a 3-0 victory over the Carson-Newman Eagles in the national quarterfinals Thursday at the Auraria Event Center in Denver, Colorado.
The third-seeded Hawks (33-7) will face second-ranked Nebraska-Kearney in the national semifinals at 5:00 p.m. (Mountain time) Friday night.
“I thought we started off pretty good,” said Rockhurst coach Tracy Rietzke. “It was almost too easy. (Carson-Newman) played a little harder in the second and third sets, and we didn’t play as hard. We’ll have to play harder tomorrow. We’ll have a tougher one tomorrow (vs. Nebraska-Kearney).”
Karli Reichert paced the Hawks with nine kills, seven digs and two blocks. Dani Prusha collected 26 assists, 11 digs and four kills. Alyssa Woodman finished with eight kills.
Audrey Arand had six kills, eight digs and four blocks. Mary Rolf posted five kills with a team-high 625 hitting percentage. Justice Wingate added three kills and four blocks.
Set One: Rockhurst 25, Carson-Newman 12
The Hawks jumped out to a 21-8 lead behind a 16-2 run. The Hawks only needed nine kills while the Eagles committed nine hitting errors.
Set Two: Rockhurst 25, Carson-Newman 23
Rockhurst rallied from a 17-14 deficit to take a 23-19 lead. Reichert and Arand combined for nine kills and five digs.
Set Three: Rockhurst 25, Carson-Newman 20
The Hawks closed out the match on a 14-6 run keyed by a 7-0 run. Reichert and Woodman combined for six kills.
Player of the Match
Audrey Arand. The junior right side hitter combined for 18 kills, digs and blocks while finishing with 10.5 points.
Inside the Box Score
• The Hawks posted a .217 hitting percentage while holding Carson-Newman to an .079 hitting percentage.
• Rockhurst finished with 35 kills, 37 digs and eight blocks.
• Rockhurst has won its last eight matches with six of the wins coming by 3-0 sweeps.
• The Hawks have won 97 matches over the past three seasons, including 10 victories in the NCAA Tournament.
• Head coach Tracy Rietzke increased his career wins total to 1,277. The all-time winningest coach in NCAA Division II ranks fourth in career wins for all three NCAA levels.