UD's Season Comes to End in NCAA Tournament First Round
Nov 14, 2019
ST. PAUL, Minn. – The University of Dubuque volleyball team took on #1 seed St. Thomas in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament St. Paul Regional on Thursday night, where they fell to the top-seeded and host St. Thomas Tommies, 3-1 (13-25, 25-20, 23-25, 13-25), in a hard fought four sets.
St. Thomas scored the first three points of the opening set before Kara Wright came up with a kill for UD’s first point of the tournament. The two teams would trade the next two points to make it 4-2 in favor of the Tommies, but that was as close as the Spartans would be for the remainder of the first set, dropping it 25-13 to fall behind one set to none.
Trailing 8-2 in the second set, the Spartans made their first big run of the night. UD would score four straight points and 10 of the next 12 points in all, to vault ahead 12-10. The Tommies would briefly retake the lead at 13-12 and 14-13 but back-to-back kills from Andresen and Hawtrey gave UD the lead and they would not look back in the set, winning it 25-20 to even the match at one set all.
The Spartans carried that momentum over to the third set, racing out to leads of 6-2 and 12-7 in the third. St. Thomas would rattle off four straight points to get within one run, however, the Spartans would answer by scoring three of the next four points to hang on to a 20-16 lead. The Tommies proved why they are the top seed in the region and scored nine of the final 12 points of the set to win the set 25-23 and grab a 2-1 set lead.
After jumping out to a 4-1 lead in the fourth set, the Spartans were stifled. With the Spartans ahead 6-5 early in the set. The Tommies would score seven straight and 13 of the next 14 points to blow the set wide open with an 18-7 set lead for St. Thomas. The Tommies would go on to take the set 25-13 and the match, 3-1.
Darby Hawtrey led the Spartans with 14 kills, while Grace Hintze and Kara Wright were right behind her with 12 of their own. To go along with the 12 kills in her final collegiate match, Wright added 13 digs, one solo block and two block assists. Riley Andresen was a force at the net on the defensive side, coming up with two solo blocks and three block assists.
The Spartans season comes to an end with a 22-11 record after making their second consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance.