Four-Peats Sake, Webster Takes Volleyball Title

Four-Peats Sake, Webster Takes Volleyball Title

The Webster University volleyball team won its fourth consecutive tournament title with a 3-0 win over Spalding University (KY).  The Gorloks tied their own conference record for most consecutive titles, winning four straight from 2006-2009 also.  This is the third straight year Webster took the title on the road, coming in as the #2 seed.  With the victory, the Gorloks advance to the NCAA III Championships.

Though they won the championship match in straight sets, none came easy for the Gorloks.  Webster defeated Spalding, 25-22, 25-23, and 25-19.  In the first set, Webster was down 20-18, when a service error on Spalding made it 20-19, and Webster went up 24-20 before winning, 25-22.  Similarly, the teams see-sawed back and forth in the second set before Webster had a little more breathing room in the clincher.

Spalding (18-16), the #4 seed, reached the championship by upsetting host Greenville College, 3-2.  Spalding beat Greenville, the #1 seed, winning the tie-breaker set, 15-9, to advance.  Webster was 2-0 during the regular season against Spalding, winning 3-1 in Fulton, MO, and 3-2 at Spalding.  The Golden Eagles came into the championship match on an eight-match win streak.

Jenny Howard (SR, Florissant, MO/Duchesne HS), named the MVP for the Tournament, had 13 kills and a .387 attack percent against Spalding.  She added 15 digs as well.  Sam Kersting (SR, St. Louis, MO/Lindbergh HS), a SLIAC First Team All-Conference pick (see related story) had nine kills and two solo blocks and two block assists vs. the Golden Eagles.  Jordan Vehlewald (SR, Wildwood, MO/Lafayette HS) had 19 digs for Webster, and Allie O'Toole (SR, St. Louis, MO/Lutheran South HS) had a team-high 17 assists.

Webster won its semi-final match over Westminster College, 3-1, to reach the championship match.  The Gorloks, who had split with Westminster (17-14) during the regular season, beat the Blue Jays 25-16, 27-25, 18-25, and 25-23.  Westminster had a 19-16 lead in the fourth set and it looked like the Gorloks may need a tie-breaker to win the match, but Webster went on a 6-1 run to take a 22-20 lead and went on to a 25-23 win to clinch.

Following the conclusion of the Championship match the 2014 SLIAC Volleyball All-Tournament team was announced. This year's team included Tournament MVP Jenny Howard, Webster; Andrea Dwiggins, Webster; Sam Kersting, Webster; Elisa Burkman, Spalding; Casey Wilkerson, Spalding; Joelle Scholten, Greenville; and Riley Lawrence, Westminster.