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Thomas More volleyball improves to 29-3 with two wins; NKU sweeps past IUPUI in Regents Hall

NKyTribune staff

The Thomas More University volleyball team wrapped up the regular season with a pair of wins Saturday at the Emory National Invitational Tournament in Atlanta, defeating both Salem and Washington & Lee.

In the opener, Julia Popova collected 12 kills and Jenna Mummert added 11 kills as Thomas More swept Salem, 15-18, 15-9, 15-13. The Saints, who are ranked No. 5 nationally in the AVCA’s NCAA Division III poll, attacked at a .227 clip and limited Salem to a .000 hitting percentage to coast to the win.

Jenna Mummert finished with 11 kills as Thomas More swept past Salem on Saturday. (Photo by Jeff McCurry)

Thomas More closed out the two-day tournament with a 26-28, 25-23, 25-20, 25-21 victory over Washington & Lee. Carlee Lambert hammered down 16 kills, while Popova and Madison Krumpelman each added 12 spikes. Jenna Fessler finished with 49 assists, two service aces and eight digs.

Lambert blasted three kills late in the second set to help Thomas More post a 25-23 win. She converted an attack at set point to even the match at 1-all, and the Saints prevailed in the following two frames to earn their 29th win of the season.

Jessica Ginn led the defense with 23 digs, while Krumpelman collected 20 digs. Thomas More improved to 29-3 overall with the two victories. Washington & Lee is 18-12, and Salem dropped to 12-15.

Thomas More travels to Delhi, N.Y., next weekend to play in the American Collegiate Athletic Association Tournament. The top-seeded Saints will meet host SUNY Delhi on Saturday in the ACAA semifinals at 4 p.m. The ACAA championship match is set for noon on Nov. 4.

The NCAA Division III Tournament field will be announced on Nov. 5, and Thomas More is expected to receive an at-large berth. The ACAA Tournament winner does not receive an automatic bid to the NCAAs.

A year ago, Thomas More won the Presidents’ Athletic Conference championship and advanced to the NCAA Division III Tournament. The Saints then dropped a five-set decision to Christopher Newport in the opening round of the regional.

NKU SWEEPS PAST IUPUI: Bailey Western and Anna Brinkmann combined for 19 kills as NKU swept past visiting IUPUI on Saturday, 25-21, 25-20, 25-21, in Regents Hall.

Anna Brinkmann

Western finished with 10 kills and a .400 hitting percentage as NKU attacked at a .248 clip for the match. Brinkmann added nine kills and hit .316 for the Norse, who improved to 14-8 overall, 6-5 in the Horizon League.

IUPUI hit just .103 and dropped to 5-21 overall, 2-10 in the Horizon League. NKU, which also defeated IUPUI on the road earlier this season, is now 5-2 all-time against the Jaguars.

Haley Libs added 12 kills and 13 digs, while setter Shelby Olsen also collected a double-double with 17 assists and 15 digs. Libs, a senior outside hitter, has recorded double-doubles in 14 consecutive matches.

Miranda Wucherer finished with five kills, 24 assists and four blocks for NKU, which is 3-1 at home this season. The Norse — who had not played at home since Oct. 7 — hit a blistering .500 in the first set on Saturday by converting 17 kills in 30 attempts with just two errors.

NKU continued its torrid hitting in the second frame, attacking at a .361 clip and posting a 25-20 win for a 2-0 advantage in sets.

NKU plays host to Wright State at 2 p.m. Sunday in Regents Hall.

(Information compiled from NKU Athletics Communications, Thomas More and staff reports)

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