Tigers Win Pair On Day 1 Of Emory National Invitational
ATLANTA, Ga. - The 2011 NCAA Division III National Champions may have a very different look on the court, but they may well be building toward the same great finish 12 months later. On the second-to-last weekend of the 2012 season, the Wittenberg Tigers started the Emory National Invitational with a pair of convincing victories.
The Tigers defeated Washington & Lee 3-0 before pulling off one of their biggest wins of the campaign, a 3-1 decision over host Emory. The victory over the sixth-ranked Eagles gave Wittenberg a phenomenal 7-2 record against teams ranked in the top 14 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association national poll.
The wins pushed Wittenberg's winning streak to eight in a row, and the third-ranked Tigers have now won 13 straight against NCAA Division III opponents. Heading into the regular season finale against the University of Massachusetts-Boston, Wittenberg has a 21-4 overall record.
Against Washington & Lee, the Tigers dominated by set scores of 25-10, 25-16, 25-16. The offense was paced by freshman Kara Seidenstricker (London, Ohio/Jonathan Alder) with 12 kills in 19 attempts without an error for a .632 attack percentage, while senior Jessica Batanian (Sylvania, Ohio/Notre Dame) added 10 kills on a .421 attack percentage.
Defensively, freshman Haley Mucha (Lewis Center, Ohio/Olentangy Orange) was stellar at the net with four blocks and senior Christina Gilene (Milford, Ohio/McNicholas) did the job in the back court with 18 digs.
The Tigers followed that up with a win over Emory by set scores of 25-13, 25-21, 18-25, 25-23.
Four Tigers finished in double figures for kills and four Tigers exceeded the same plateau for digs. Seidenstricker and Batanian were part of both groups as the former finished with a match-best 18 kills to go along with 14 digs and the latter contributed 10 kills and 13 digs.
Junior Andrea Behling (Columbus, Ind./North) added 11 kills and Mucha chipped in with 10 kills. Mucha and Seidenstricker each were credited with three blocks.
Also of note was the play of freshman Melissa Emming (West Chester, Ohio/Mount Notre Dame) with eight kills and 17 digs, while Gilene topped both teams with 27 digs. Finally, senior setter Hallie Donathan (Tipp City, Ohio/Tippecanoe) dished out a career-best 29 assists.