Tigers Win 10th Straight With 3-0 NCAA Tourney Sweep Of Bluffton

Tigers Win 10th Straight With 3-0 NCAA Tourney Sweep Of Bluffton
Emily Kahlig, Kara Seidenstricker and Melissa Emming together accounted for 25 of the Tigers' 41 kills in a 3-0 win over Bluffton in the first round of the NCAA Division III tournament on Thursday. Jeff Febus/Calvin Sports Information

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - The Wittenberg Tigers won their fourth straight NCAA Division III first round match, cruising past Bluffton in a 3-0 sweep in a match played at Calvin College.

The win, earned by set scores of 25-16, 26-19, 25-20, gave the 10th-ranked Tigers a second round date opposite either the University of Chicago or Buffalo State. Wittenberg will bring a 10-match winning streak into the contest, scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15, also at Calvin.

The Tigers picked up right where they left off nearly a week earlier, when they earned a seventh straight North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) Tournament title. Wittenberg was efficient offensively, attacking at a .305 clip, led by an outstanding all-around performance by sophomore Kara Seidenstricker (London, Ohio/Jonathan Alder).

Seidenstricker pounded 15 kills and attacked at a .500 percentage. She also was one of five different players to record a service ace in the match and one of six different players to put a mark in the blocks column of the stats sheet.

Senior Andrea Behling (Columbus, Ind./North) added eight kills and sophomore Melissa Emming (West Chester, Ohio/Mount Notre Dame) contributed seven. Junior Meghan Vodopich (Canton, Ohio/Massillon Perry) was on her game as well, finishing with five kills, 34 assists and four digs.

Defensively, junior Kiah Murray (Yorktown, Ind./Yorktown) led the way with 15 digs, while sophomore Katie Zito (Canton, Ohio/Massillon Jackson) added eight.

The match was Wittenberg's 50th in 19 all-time NCAA Division III Tournament appearances. The Tigers are now 33-17 overall, including a mark of 11-5 in first-round matches (Wittenberg has received a first round bye three times).

Listen to post-match interview with Head Coach Paco Labrador, Meghan Vodopich '15 and Kara Seidenstricker '16