November 11, 2011

Panthers Knock Pirates out of NCAA Championships

Southwestern jumped out to early leads in each set but Chapman pounced back to defeat the Pirates 3-1 in the first round of the NCAA Championships. The loss ends SU's season at 30-4.

Chapman was led by Kate Ferrin and her team-high 16 kills, Ashleigh Gideon, Val Geiger, and Laura Posada rounded out a quartet of Panthers who were able to earn double-digit kills against the Pirates. Combined, the group not only recorded 49 of their team's 53 kills, but also helped teammate Corrine Ostrovsky earn a match-high 44 assists.

Leading all players with 17 kills, Southwestern's Rachel Thibodeau and Jill Wigington (10 kills) were the only Pirates who were able to record 10 or more kills against the Panthers.

As a team, Southwestern finished Friday's match with 52 kills.

Forcing Southwestern to commit 18 of its 29 attack errors throughout the first two sets, Chapman's defense helped the Panthers build a 2-0 lead against the 10th-ranked team in the nation.

Able to minimize its mistakes in the third set, combined with a performance on defense that forced Chapman to record 10 attack errors, and a hitting percentage of .057 for the frame, Southwestern was able to rebound and cut the Panthers' lead in half.

Allowing Southwestern to hit .053, while able to record a .129 attack percentage of its own in the fourth set, Chapman was able to pull away in the final moments of the match to secure its spot in Saturday's second round.

The Panthers will return to action at 6 p.m. in the second of two semifinal matches scheduled to take place on Saturday, Nov. 12.

The loss marks the end of seven Pirates' collegiate career as SU reluctantly says goodbye to Christina Nicholls, Lindsay Thompson, Julie Bartrip, Jill Wigington, Taylor Wright, Mariad Cocke and Sarai Tenerelli.

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