Tommie Sports - Volleyball

NCAA® VB Regional Webpage -- UST gets first trip to national finals

W, 3-0
UW-Eau Claire, November 13, 2010

Action pic
St. Thomas went 9-0 in sets to take three wins for the championship of the regional tournament. (Greg Smith photo)

St. Thomas is the host institution for the 2010 NCAA® Regional Volleyball Tournaent, Nov. 12-14, on its St. Paul campus at the Anderson Athletic and Rcereation Complex.

Tickets are $6 for adults, $4 for students and $3 for children ages 3-12, all per day.

NCAA is a trademark of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.


Sunday updates

St. Thomas 3, St. Olaf 0

On a cold and cloudy Sunday in the Twin Cities, the sun shined on Coach Thanh Pham and his St. Thomas (Minn.) volleyball players, who won the biggest match of their college lives.  

The second-seed Tommies rallied in each set to post a 3-0 victory over top-seed St. Olaf. St. Thomas prevailed 25-20, 27-25, 25-14 before a spirited crowd of nearly 500 in UST's Anderson Athletic and Recreation Complex in St. Paul, Minn.

The No. 12-ranked Tommies (31-6) will advance to St. Louis and next weekend's eight-team national finals. They had lost three consecutive matches to St. Olaf in the last 53 weeks, including a 3-0 decision in Northfield eight days ago in the MIAC playoff finals in a match in which they never led in any set.

It's the first St. Thomas volleyball trip to the national finals in school history. UST previously was 0-6 all-time in regional championship matches, including three losses since 2005 to better-ranked teams. 

St. Thomas hit an impressive .325 and showed an exceptional ability to close out each set. Three senior hitters came up big: Katie Bonine had 15 kills and 11 digs and hit .333; Tori Jones had nine kills and no errors and hit .600; and Alesha Nelson had seven kills and no errors and hit .412.

UST closed the first set with 9-2 run after trailing 18-16; closed the second set with 14-6 run after trailing 19-13; and ended the match with a 12-1 run after the score was tied 13-13. 

St. Thomas has won 26 of its last 29 matches since a Sept. 15 home loss to the Oles, including nine in a row at home.

All-American Kim Smisek had 13 kills and 12 digs to lead the Oles (31-5), who had a 14-match winning streak halted.

UST had three players, all seniors, on the All-Tournament Team -- setter Emily Foster was named the Most Outstanding Player and joined by hitters Katie Bonine and Jill Osborne. St. Olaf's Kim Smisek and Melissa Burch, Whitworth's Kaimi Rocha and UW-Eau Claire's Rachel VerVoort.


Saturday updates

St. Thomas 3, UW-Eau Claire 0 

MIAC volleyball co-champions St. Olaf and St. Thomas will play Sunday at 4 p.m. at St. Thomas for the NCAA Regional championship.

The No. 11-ranked Oles (31-4) topped Whitworth in three sets. The No. 12-ranked Tommies (30-6) topped UW-Eau Claire for the third time this season and reached the region finals for the fourth time in seven seasons. The Toms rallied to close out the second set and won 25-14, 25-23, 25-19.  

St. Thomas, which reached 30 wins for the first time in five seasons, is 8-0 at home and 25-3 overall since a Sept. 15 loss to St. Olaf.  UST hit a sizzling .364 led by Katie Bonine, who hit .545 with 15 kills, 14 digs and three aces. Jill Osborne hit .500 with 12 kills. Emily Foster added 46 assists and eight digs.

Click here for box score:

St. Olaf 3, Whitworth 0

No. 11-ranked St. Olaf advanced to Sunday's championship match with a 25-17, 25-17, 25-11 victory over Whitworth in Saturday's first semifinal match.  

The Oles (31-4) have won 25 of their last 26 matches and are the lone MIAC to beat the Tommies on the UST campus the last four seasons. They hit .378 on the match as Kelly Burch had 14 kills and Kim Smisek had 12 kills and nine digs.  

Click here for box score:


Friday updates

St. Thomas 3, Puget Sound 0

Second-seed St. Thomas advanced to Saturday's semifinal round with a 3-0 victory over Puget Sound. The Tommies won 25-15, 25-17, 25-22 to climb to 29-6 on the season.

Senior All-American setter Emily Foster had 31 assists to break the Tommie school career record and move into second place on the all-time conference list. Senior Katie Bonine had 12 kills and 22 digs and senior Jill Osborne had nine kills.

Marissa Florant had 17 digs and Brynn Blickenstaff had seven kills for the Loggers (18-7).

Click here for box score:



UW-Eau Claire 3, Nebraska Wesleyan 0

UW-Eau Claire eliminated Nebraska Wesleyan, 25-17, 25-22, 25-17, in Friday's third first-round regional match.  

Eau Claire 25-9 advances to semifinals vs. Puget Sound-St. Thomas winner. Nebraska Wesleyan ends its season 23-6.  

The Blugolds hit .248 led by Rachel Ver Voort's 13 kills and 16 digs and .382 attack percentage. Liz Amici had nine blocks and seven kills; Amanda Lessner had 36 assists; and Blair Murphy had 18 digs.  

The Prairie Wolves were led by Kelsey Elman's 12 digs, four aces and eight kills; and Laura Brammeier's 12 kills and nine digs.    

Click here to view box score:


St. Olaf 3, Northwestern 2

Top-seed St. Olaf rallied from a 10-8 deficit in the decisive fifth set and outlasted Northwestern to advance to Saturday's semifinals. The Oles (30-4) won 28-26, 25-23, 25-27, 23-25, 15-12.

No. 11-ranked St. Olaf secured its first 30-win season since 1996. Kim Smisek had 25 kills, 17 digs, two solo blocks and two aces; Ariel Carlson had 14 kills and eight blocks; and Kelly Prunty had 53 assists and 10 digs.

The unranked Eagles (26-14), competing in their first-ever NCAA playoff match, got 45 assists and 10 digs from Leah Kostek, and 18 kills and 12 digs from Greta King. Chelsea Koth added 14 kills.

Click here for box score:

Whitworth 3, Concordia 0

Unranked Whitworth won a close match against No. 18-rated Concordia-Moorhead, 27-25, 26-24, 25-20. The Pirates will play at 3:30 p.m. Central time Saturday against St. Olaf.

Kaimi Rocha had 16 kills, 18 digs, hit .255 and had two aces for the Pirates (18-6). Amanda Grumbach added 10 kills and 15 digs. Bree Riddle had 36 assists and 17 digs. Ka'ipo Rocha had eight kills, eight digs and two solo blocks. Whitworth had six aces.

The Cobbers (24-7) got a double-double from Jenna Green (15 kills, 12 digs); four blocks and seven kills from Alison Bruggeman; and 23 assists and nine digs from Amy Sykora.

Box score:


Tournament Schedule:

Friday, Nov. 12/Quarterfnals

--Match 1, 12:30 p.m.: Whitworth (18-6) def. Concordia-Moorhead (24-7), 3-0 (27-25, 26-24, 25-20)

--Match 2, 3 p.m.: St. Olaf (30-4) def. vs. Northwestern (Minn.) (26-14), 3-2 (28-26, 25-23, 25-27, 23-25, 15-12)

--Match 3, 5:30 p.m.: UW-Eau Claire (25-9) def. Nebraska Wesleyan (23-6), 25-27, 25-22, 25-17

--Match 4, 8 p.m.: St. Thomas (28-6) def. Puget Sound (18-6), 3-0 (25-15, 25-17, 25-22)


Saturday, Nov. 13/Semifinals  

--Match 5, 3:30 p.m. -- St. Olaf def. Whitworth, 3-0 (25-17, 25-17, 25-11)

--Match 6, 6 p.m.: St. Thomas def. UW-Eau Claire, 25-14, 25-23, 25-19


Sunday, Nov. 14 /Championship

--Match 7, 4 p.m.: St. Thomas def. St. Olaf, 25-20, 27-25, 25-14






NCAA D-III Bracket:


AVCA Poll/Nov. 9: 


NCAA Volleyball:



UST Regional/Team Pages

(click on links to access team's regional tourney notes, stats)


St. Olaf



St. Thomas



UW-Eau Claire









Nebraska Wesleyan



Puget Sound




Action pic

St. Thomas' Anderson Athletic and Recreation Complex

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