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Volleyball

November 23, 2002

USI volleyball falls in semifinals,
Ends on of best seasons in school history

@ #5 Grand Valley State University (30-2): 3
University of Southern Indiana (26-8): 1
Game Scores: 30-26, 27-30, 30-24, 30-19


ALLENDALE, Mich.—The University of Southern Indiana volleyball team saw its season come to a close Saturday night as it fell to fifth-ranked and top-seeded Grand Valley State University in four games at the GVSU Fieldhouse Arena. The Screaming Eagles, which entered the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Regional Tournament as the fifth seed, finish their season with a 26-8 record while the Lakers advance to the regional finals to face Northwood University with a 30-2 record.

USI played some of its best volleyball of the season during the first three games. However, breakdowns during the fourth match cost the Eagles early and late as they dropped the final game 30-19.

“Coming in we knew we would have to play well,” Head Coach Craig Bere said. “We knew we would have to play a solid volleyball game and not commit errors. We broke down when we committed the errors.”

The fourth game was not a good example of how the Eagles played though. USI came out gunning right from the start, claiming a five-point lead early in the contest. Senior outside hitter Shannon Wells (Merrillville, Indiana) recorded six kills in the first game and the Eagles recorded three blocks to put them in position to go up 1-0 in the match.

However, the Lakers stormed back, going on two 3-0 runs and a 4-0 run to tie the first frame at 24-24. GVSU put together a 5-0 run from that point to pull away and win the first game 30-26.

The Eagles did not shy away however. After trading blows with the Lakers, the Eagles recorded a 6-0 run late in the game to pull away. Wells recorded eight kills in the second game, seven of which forced a switch of the serving team, as the Eagles won the second game 30-27.

“Shannon played a great game but we had to go to her to much,” Bere explained. “It forced us to be to predictable and it enabled them to come up to the net and play better back-court defense.”

Wells finished the match with a match-high 26 kills, of 59 attempts, to go with 12 digs while junior setter Kim Boehmer (Cincinnati, Ohio) finished with 51 assists.

GVSU took advantage of the situation as it forced Wells into five attacking errors in the third stanza. The Lakers claimed the third game, 30-24, taking a 2-1 lead in the match.

The Eagles will now head into the off-season with a couple of glaring holes to fill. USI will lose Wells, and seniors Kristi Kavanaugh (Montgomery, Indiana) and Greta Grinstead (Mt. Vernon, Indiana).

“We have to tip our hats to the seniors,” Bere said. “We will get back in the gym with the returning players and work hard for next year. We will have to recruit well during the off-season as well.”

Dan McDonnell,
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