#7 Pirates rally to advance to NCAA Regional semifinal

#7 Pirates rally to advance to NCAA Regional semifinal

RICHARDSON, Texas – After winning the first set Southwestern had to rally back and win the final two sets to defeat the University of La Verne 3-2 and advance to the NCAA Division III Regional semifinal on Saturday at 1:30 pm.

A confident Pirate team took the floor and steadily built a lead in the first set, winning 25-19.

Service errors early in the second set allowed La Verne to build an eight point lead, 17-9, but the Pirates battled back to even the count 22-22. ULV scored three straight to even the match with a 25-22 set two win.

With momentum on their side the Leopards were able to jump out to an early lead to start the third set. Southwestern battled all the way back from being down 22-15 and were serving for set point, 24-23, but ULV refused to relinquish the set as they rallied for three straight points once again to win 26-24 and go up 2-1.

Andie Alford served the Pirates into a seven point lead in the fourth set, 22-15, forcing the Leopards into their final timeout of the set. La Verne came out of the timeout with a big kill and started to chip away at SU's lead.

Kate Mitchell buried the ball for the final point as the Pirates forced a fifth and final set with the 25-21 set four win.

La Verne led early in the fifth set, but the Pirates were firing from all angles and got a crucial kill from Haley Moffett who came off the bench to tie the set 6-6.

Southwestern steadily built a slight lead 13-10 and would close the match at the hands of their leader, Nikki Welch. Welch served the final point and set the stage for Jamison Duck to close the match with a kill down the line.

Piper Sisemore led offensively with 16 kills and a .379 attack percentage while Duck added 15 kills and Kate Mitchell 13. Sydney Rochelle posted 30 assists and three digs while Welch had 27 assists and seven digs. Andie Alford had a team high 32 digs and Brandi Campos chipped in 22.

Southwestern (31-4) advances to the semifinal for the first time since 2013. They will face the winner of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and Colorado College on Saturday at 1:30 pm.