--No. 8-ranked St. Thomas has reached the championship of the NCAA Division III Volleyball Championships. The Tommies won 25-13, 27-25, 25-20 on Thursday over unranked Clarkson and won 25-22, 25-23, 26-24 Fridayt over No. 9-ranked Elmhurst and improved its season record to 39-1.
--The Toms have a school- and conference record 34-match win streak.
--St. Thomas becomes the first Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference volleyball program to play in an NCAA championship match.
--Head coach Thanh Pham (TANG FAMM) was born in Vietnam and fled his homeland with his family as an infant when the Saigon government was toppled in te spring of 1975. Friday was match No. 350 for Pham in his 10th season as Tommie head coach. He has a 287-63 record, and he's led UST to eight conference titles or co-titles, eight NCAA playoff berths and three trips in a row to the eight-team national tournament.
--Over the last four seasons, St. Thomas is 13-3 in the NCAA playoffs.
--St. Thomas is 71-6 over the last two seasons, 102-13 in the last three seasons.
--St. Thomas has been ranked in the AVCA national top 25 for 92 of the last 93 consecutive polls dating back to September 2005.
--The Tommies hit .241 in Thursday’s win and improved to 86-1 in matches over the last three seasons when they hit above .200. They rank among the national leaders this season in attack percentage (.273) and kills per set (10.8).
--The Tommies are 24-0 in three-set decisions; 10-0 in four setters; and 5-1 in matches decided in five. They are 17-0 on neutral courts and 12-0 at home.
--After the August 2010 opening of its Anderson Athletics and Recreation Complex, St. Thomas lost its debut match on its home court but is 28-0 on its home court since then.
--UST is the first team in MIAC history to win or share six consecutive conference championships.
--St. Thomas’ five-set victories include a comeback road win at nationally-ranked Wartburg; comebacks in both the semifinals and finals of the MIAC playoffs against Carleton (down 10-4 in fifth set) and nationally-ranked St. Benedict (down 2-1 in sets); and a rally to win in the NCAA playoff opener against Cornell (down 2-1 in sets). That latter three wins helped UST build its home-court win streak to 28.
--The Tommies have set a school season record and tied a 16-year-old MIAC record for season victories held by St. Olaf in its third-place national finish in 1996.
--UST’s lone loss came on Sept. 7 in Atlanta in five sets on the road against No. 6-ranked Emory (Ga.), with a 16-14 score in the final set.
--The Tommies are 11-1 this season against other teams that reached the Division III national playoffs.
--St. Thomas is in the NCAA playoffs for the 14th time (23-13 all-time record), with nine trips to the region title match. Current assistant coach Dave Orren was the head coach in a span when UST qualified six years in a row from 1987-92, including regional final berths in 1990, 1991 and 1992. UST also has reached the region finals in 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012, with victories the last three seasons.
--UST senior libero Kaiti Wachter has started all 149 matches on her career and has 2,932 digs.
--UST sophomore MB Kelly Foley was selected National Freshman of the Year in 2011; Conference Player of the Year in 2012; and first-team All-America in 2012. Foley has played in 76 career matches and is hitting above .350 with 896 kills and 225 blocks. She ranks among the Division III leaders in hitting this season at .375. UST is 17-1 on her career when she records 15 or more kills.
--Friday was the 350th match for Thanh Pham in his 10th season as Tommie head coach. He has a 287-63 record, and he's led UST to eight conference titles or co-titles, eight NCAA playoff berths and three trips in a row to the eight-team national tournament.
--The Tommies' 11-player postseason roster includes only two seniors, both defensive specialists.
--Tommie senior defensive specialist Kia Johnson was the repeat winner of the NCAA’s Elite 89 Award with the best grade-point average among all 136 student-athletes at this week’s Championships in Holland, Mich. Johnson has a 3.961 gpa in Biology and has won a prestigious Goldwater Scholarship and a Merck research scholarship.
--Sophomore All-America middle hitter Kelly Foley (3.85 gpa, Business Financial Management) is on the national ballot for Academic All-America consideration.
--Foley (first team) and junior hitter Paige Brimeyer (third team) were named AVCA All-Americas this week. St. Thomas now has had 13 All-Americas in 10 seasons under Coach Thanh Pham. Brimeyer is hitting .353 this season with nearly 2.5 kills per set, and in 77 matches the last two seasons has 655 kills and is hitting .325.
--Sophomore Jill Greenfield has 31 double-doubles in kills and digs in 76 career matches, and UST is 29-2 in those matches.
--St. Thomas is one of the few Division III institutions to win an NCAA team championship in seven different sports: men’s and women’s cross country; men’s and women’s basketball; men’s indoor track and field; baseball and softball. In all they have 13 national championships and 11 runner-up finishes.
--UST has five national team titles in the last 13 years alone: baseball (2001, 2009); softball (2004, 2005); and men’s basketball (2011). St. Thomas teams also took second in men’s hockey (2005); second in softball (2006); took third in women’s basketball in this same facility at Hope College (2012); took third in baseball (2012); and tied for third in football (2011).
--Over the last five school years alone, St. Thomas teams have won 62 NCAA playoff contests (football, 7; volleyball, 13; men’s basketball, 10; women’s basketball, 5; baseball, 20; softball, 7.
--UST took eighth in the Director’s Cup Division III all-sport standings in 2011-12 and has finished in the top 15 in four of the last five years. The Tommies won a record 13 conference team titles out of a possible 22 last school year.
St. Thomas Pronunciations:
St. Thomas head coach Thanh Pham (TANG FOMM)
#1 Kaiti Wachter (WOCKTER)
#3 Ali Wahlin (wal-LEEN)
#4 Mackenzie Piechowski (ma-KEN-zee pa-KOW-skee)
#7 Katie Maher (MA-herr)
#10 Paige Brimeyer (BREE-meyer)
#11 McKenna Reagan (RAY-ginn)
#13 Taryn Glynn (TERR-in GLINN)
#14 Ashley Dahly (DOLLY)
#16 Kia Johnson (KEE-a)
#19 Sarah Kosbab (KOZ-babb)