Greenville College joined an elite group becoming just the third program to win back to back SLIAC Tournaments, claiming the 2016 title with a 3-0 sweep of Westminster College. The Panthers rolled to a 25-17, 25-19, 25-16 win in the championship match as the program wins their third conference tournament in program history.
Westminster, the #2 seed in the tournament, picked up the first two points of the match when Hannah Marshall ripped a kill on the opening rally and then teamed with Amanda Kiso for a block. With Westminster leading 8-7 the host and top seeded Panthers grabbed the lead on four consecutive attack errors with blocks from Brittni Bell and Savannah Sells in the mix. The Panthers led by two points before opening the game up with a 5-0 run, taking advantage of five Blue Jay errors once again with Sierah Ruffner and Allyson Mitchell this time teaming up for a pair of Panther blocks. Greenville closed out the opening set 25-17 on a kill from Savannah Sells.
With the second set tied at 12-12 Greenville's Kirsten Laune ended a long rally with a kill on a dump ball on her team's second touch. The Panthers followed two plays later with a kill from Brittni Bell, who finished off the point after a rally was kept alive by Allyson Mitchell's diving one armed dig. The Panthers went on to grab a 19-14 lead after a kill by Sells and would close out the set 25-19 on a kill by Ruffner.
Westminster took a 7-5 lead to start the third set as Marshall, Amanda Kiso, and Ashley Kistaitis all picked up kills during the run. But it was the Panther net defense that was the story again when a block by Sells and Bell evened the third set score at 7-7. The Panthers opened the game up when Laune recorded back to back service aces to give her team a seven point lead. Greenville wrapped up the third and decisive set by the score of 25-16.
Greenville hit .286 in the match with 37 kills and nine errors. Their defense was the story of the game as they finished with 15 total team blocks including four from Savannah Sells. Sierah Ruffner led all players with 12 kills, hitting .667 in the match, while Laune finished with 28 assists and 11 digs. Janisha Pealer led all players with 19 digs.
Westminster meanwhile hit just .064 in the match, with 29 kills but also committing 22 errors. Elizabeth Kelley led the Blue Jays with seven kills while Kayla Reeg finished with 26 assists and Bridget Ringwald added 18 digs.
Greenville moves to 25-7 overall while Westminster falls to 19-12. The Panthers earn the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III National Tournament.