CHARLESTON - The top-seeded and No.19 nationally-ranked Wheeling Jesuit Cardinals registered a 3-0 victory against No. 2 Seton Hill on Saturday to capture their fifth straight West Virginia Conference volleyball championship.
Set scores were 25-15, 25-13 and 25-18.\
For the victors, Allissa Ware posted a match-high 13 kills against no errors for a .448 attack percentage. Jenna Pew added 11 kills while hitting .471. Abby Wietrzykowski chipped in seven kills while Rachel Caja and Corrin Early each accounted for five. Madison Strall dished out 24 assists and Pew had 18. Strall recorded a team-high 11 digs. Early, Makenzie Ripley and Ware all had seven digs. Caja totaled a team-best four blocks while Ware added three.
The Griffins were led by Corrine Gahagen's six kills while Abigail Malsch added five. Christina Donahoe, Shelby Kyllo and Chelsey Regovich all added three. Kelsey Profio distributed a team-high 12 assists. Malsch amassed a match-best 13 digs while rookie Lauren Teed accounted for seven. At the net, Gahagen had a spectacular afternoon, assisting on six blocks. Larissa Santangelo and Profio were each in on two blocks.
WJU got things going in fine style, reeling off eight of the first nine points of the match. During the run, Early had a couple of kills while Pew and Ashley Remlinger each had a block. The Cardinals pushed the margin to 10 when Ware served up an ace, making it 18-8. Seton Hill pulled within nine on a kill by Malsch. However, the squad could get no closer as Ware and Caja finished the set with kills.
In the second frame, the teams battled back-and-forth through the first few points as the score was tied at two. Pew and Early had kills while Profio registered one for the Griffins and Donahoe and Gahagen teamed up for a block. Remlinger's kill made it 3-2 in favor of the Cardinals. The point jump started an 8-2 run by the top seed. Ware accounted for three kills during the spurt.
The Griffins battled back, pulling within three at 10-7 when Gahagen and Regovich soared for a block. Wietrzykowski's kill on the very next point gave WJU a four-point edge and it would be the smallest for the team the rest of the set. WJU stretched the lead to 24-9 while Ware had four kills in a five-point span. SHU posted four straight points, staying in the set, but Remlinger's kill off the Strall pass ended the set.
In the third game, the squads battled to a 4-4 draw through the early going. Each team had some miscues, but when Caja and Ware combined for a block to make it 6-5 the Cardinals never looked back. The point started a 5-1 run. Three of the five points came via mistakes by the Griffins. SHU pulled within three at 13-10.
After a time-out by the Cardinals, the squads traded points for the next eight. With WJU up 21-14 on a kill by Strall, the Cardinals committed four consecutive errors, making it 21-18. A miscue by SHU gave the serve back to the Cardinals at 22-18. Wietrzykowski had a kill while Strall powered home one of her jump serves for an ace. Pew found Caja for the match-clinching kill.
WLU Women's Tennis Team Cracks National Rankings
SKILLMAN, N.Y. - The West Liberty University women's tennis team earned its share of the regional and national spotlight when the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) released its NCAA Division II rankings for the fall semester.
Coach Heather Gallagher's Hilltoppers netters slotted in at No. 4 in the Atlantic Region rankings and also popped up at No. 42 in the ITA's national Top 50.
In addition, two West Liberty standouts were listed among the top singles and doubles performers in the region.
Three-time first-team All-West Virginia Conference pick Raissa Wischi and reigning West Virginia Conference Player of the Year Lauren Howard were rated as the No. 3 doubles tandem in the Atlantic Region.
Wischi was ranked No. 9 among Atlantic Region singles players with Howard rated at No. 12.
WJU's Jones Excels
JOPLIN, Mo. - Wheeling Jesuit senior Stewart Jones crossed the finish line at 30:19 to earn 35th overall at the 2012 NCAA Division II Cross Country National Championship hosted by Missouri Southern State University. Jones' time stands as the fastest 10k time in WJU history. The native of Weirton, W.Va. was also rewarded with All-American status. The Top 40 student-athletes of 245 participants received All-American honors which equates to 3.5 percent of all NCAA Division II cross country athletes.