THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – The Chapman University volleyball team took down No. 10 Southwestern (TX) University in four sets (25-20, 25-19, 20-25, 25-21) on Friday night in the first round of the NCAA Division III Volleyball Championships at Gilbert Arena. Chapman (24-8) advances to play regional host California Lutheran on Saturday at 6 p.m. in Thousand Oaks.
The win is Chapman's 24th of the year, setting a school record for wins in a season since becoming a member of NCAA Division III in 1994. The last time Chapman won more than 24 games was in 1989 when the team won 27 in Coach Cahill's first season as head coach. The Panthers last won a postseason game in 2004 over Colorado College, advancing to the second round before losing to Cal State East Bay.
Against Southwestern (30-4), Chapman jumped out to a two set lead. Chapman trailed for the first half of the first set but tied the game at 15-15. The Panthers did not get their first lead of the first set until a kill by junior MB Kate Ferrin made the score 19-18. After winning the first set 25-20, Chapman came back and won set two 25-19.
The third set belonged to Southwestern as they led throughout. The Pirates jumped out to a 5-1 lead and held on from there. Southwestern's momentum carried into the fourth set as they led 15-13 after a pair of errors by Chapman. The Panthers then tied the game at 16 on a kill by junior OH Ashleigh Gideon and took the lead back for good on a block. Chapman had seven total blocks on the night. Chapman maintained a narrow lead for the rest of the game and Gideon closed out the win with her 11th kill of the night to go along with 19 digs.
Southwestern was led by junior OH Rachel Thibodeau who had a team-high 17 kills and 21 digs. All told, five Pirates' players had 10 digs or more. Chapman had four players with 11 kills or more. Ferrin had a team-high 16 while junior OH Laura Posada, freshman MB Val Geiger and Gideon all had 11 kills. With 11 kills, Geiger tied her career high.
by Chris Watts
Sports Information Assistant
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