D III Women's Volleyball

A source for NCAA Division III women's volleyball info and opinion, with a focus on the Midwest and Central regions

11/17: St. Thomas storms back from 2-set deficit, wins 1st national championship

Now that was an entertaining championship match. Always pretty? No way. Entertaining? Absolutely.

In front of a record-breaking, decidedly pro-Calvin crowd of 3,517 and down two sets in their first title match in program history, the Tommies picked themselves off the deck, held the vaunted Calvin offense below a .100 attack percentage in each of the last three sets and became the first Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference team to win the NCAA Division III women’s volleyball national title.

Improbable for sure, but this St. Thomas team simply won matches. The Toms needed five sets to get out of the MIAC semifinals. They needed five to win the MIAC championship. No. 8 seed Cornell took St. Thomas to five in the opening round of regionals. No matter. The Tommies really thrived – or at least were comfortable – on the edge during the postseason.

Top-ranked Calvin was by far the highest profile program to fall victim to the St. Thomas late-match surge this season, but it shouldn’t have come as a surprise at this point. It was a highwire act throughout, but it’s just how this year’s Tommies played in November – the foundation crumbles and looks to be headed toward demolition until … well … until it isn’t. Not only are the Toms talented physically, but it takes a group of mental giants to pull off the wins they did down the stretch.

Talent. Heart. Determination. Attitude. And Talent again. St. Thomas (40-1), 2012 NCAA Division III women’s volleyball national champion.

National final
#8 St. Thomas 3, #1 Calvin 2 Set 5 ended 15-9; UST’s Kelly Foley had 14 kills, 7 blocks; UST’s Jill Greenfield had 14 kills, 17 digs; UST’s Sara Atkinson went 12-2-22.

All-Tournament Team:
Jill Greenfield, St. Thomas sophomore outside (Most Outstanding Player)
Kaiti Wachter, St. Thomas senior libero
Sara Atkinson, St. Thomas sophomore right-side
Megan Rietema, Calvin junior setter
Lizzie Camp, Calvin senior outside
Emily Crowe, Calvin sophomore middle
Abby Hogge, Christopher Newport senior libero

Comments? Reactions?

-Ricky Nelson

Written by Ricky Nelson

November 17, 2012 at 2:18 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

%d bloggers like this: