2016 NCAA III Volleyball Regional at Grand Rapids, Mich.

2016 NCAA III Volleyball Regional at Grand Rapids, Mich.
BETHANY COLLEGE
 
Bethany University is making its first-ever NCAA III Tournament appearance. Bethany, 25-11 overall, clinched the Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC) automatic bid with its victory over Thomas More in the league tournament title match this past Saturday. The Bison will ride a 15-match winning streak into the tournament.

Senior outside hitter Dylana McKenzie was named the President's Athletic Conference Player of the Year earlier this week. Head Coach Courtney Kline was named the league’s coach of the year, while seniors Dakota McKenzie and Allie Powell joined Dylana McKenzie as First-Team All-PAC honorees.
Senior middle hitter Alexis Castro and freshman libero Maggie Merren were named All-PAC Second Team, while junior middle hitter Sumayyah Muhammad was tabbed an All-PAC Honorable Mention.
Dylana McKenzie becomes the first-Bison volleyball player to be named the PAC Player of the Year. She led the team and ranked second in the PAC with 3.51 kills per set and ranked second in the PAC with a .284 hitting percentage leading to her fourth-consecutive First Team All-PAC selection. She finished third on the team with 64 total blocks (seven solo) and registered 88 digs on the season. The 2013 PAC Freshman of the Year currently stands at 1,634 kills and will conclude her career as the program’s all-time kills leader.

CALVIN COLLEGE

Under the directon of head coach Amber Warners, Calvin is making its 13th consecutive NCAA III Tournament appearance. The Knights head into NCAA III Tournament play with an overall record of 27-1.

The Knights captured the MIAA regular season title with a 16-0 conference record but suffered its first loss of the year in the MIAA Tournament final last Saturday, falling in five sets to rival Hope.
Senior middle hitter Laura Danhoff was named the MIAA's Most Valuable Player and has been ranked amongst the national leaders in hitting percentage throughout the fall. Danhoff also landed on the All-MIAA first team with junior setter Jenna Lodewyk and sophomore outside hitter Anna Kamp. Sophomore libero Keilahna Castillo and freshman middle hitter Sarah DeVries were both named to the All-MIAA second team with Castillo receiving MIAA Defensive Player of the Year honors and DeVries MIAA Freshman of the Year accolades.

Head coach Amber Warners is in her 15th year at the helm of the Knights and has won more than 451 of her matches during her tenure with a winning percentage of .866.

CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY

The Carnegie Mellon University volleyball team finished is regular season with a record of 25-7 and placed second in the University Athletic Association (UAA). 

Four Tartans were named to the All-UAA team with senior middle blocker Jackie Gibbons and classmate setter Emily Newton garnering first team accolades. Sophomore Lauren Mueller earned second team honors while junior libero Molly Higgins was named honorable mention. Gibbons leads the team with a .316 hitting percentage while Mueller is tops on the team in kills with 307 and with 2.62 kills per game. 

Newton ranks third in the UAA and leads the team with 1,055 assists while Higgins leads the UAA with 660 digs and 5.30 digs per game, marking the second straight season the senior has accomplished the top spot in both categories. 

The Tartans are making their fourth-appearance to the NCAA Tournament and third under 11-year head coach Kim Kelly, who is one win shy of 500 for her career.  

DEPAUW UNIVERSITY

DePauw is making its sixth appearance in the NCAA Division III Championship and third in the last four years.

The Tigers posted a 24-5 regular season record including second-place finishes during the North Coast Athletic Conference regular season and tournament. Four of DePauw’s five losses were to teams in the NCAA 64-team field and four of the wins have come against tournament teams.

Three DePauw players earned second team all-NCAC honors including senior libero Rachael Lenderman, junior setter Keegan Kollias and senior middle hitter Elisabeth Wilson. Lenderman was also selected as the conference’s Libero of the Year.

MILLIKIN UNIVERSITY

The Millikin University volleyball team earned its spot in the 2016 NCAA Division III Volleyball Tournament by winning the conference tournament and regular season titles in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW).

Millikin had a 26-11 overall record playing one of the toughest schedules in Division III facing 13 nationally ranked teams.  Millikin went 7-1 conference play and defeated Elmhurst College 3-0 to win the CCIW tournament title.

Millikin features the CCIW Player of the Year in senior libero Cassidy Kingery.  Millikin’s Erin Syversen and Alora Goodey were All-Conference First Team selections while setter Emily Mihalkanin and sophomore Cortney Bohn earned All-Conference Second Team honors.

UNIVERSITY OF PITT-BRADFORD

The University of Pitt-Bradford is making its second appearance in the NCAA III Tournament including its first since 2010. Pitt-Bradford earned an automatic bid after winning the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) championship Sunday and will carry a 25-5 record into the match.

Predicted seventh in the conference preseason poll, the Panthers finish 2016 with an unblemished record against AMCC opponents. Pitt-Bradford ran the table during the regular season, going a perfect 9-0.

Kirsten Platz and Christina Rauh were both named to the AMCC All-Tournament team. 

The Panthers are under the direction of Tom Roof who is in his second year as head coach. He previously served as assistant coach for six years.

OHIO NORTHERN UNIVERSITY

No. 23-ranked Ohio Northern will be making its 29th appearance at the NCAA III Tournament when it faces Millikin (Ill.) in the First Round on Thursday.
The Polar Bears (27-3 overall) are riding a 19-match winning streak and earned an automatic bid by winning the Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament title with a thrilling 5-set victory over Heidelberg on Saturday.

ONU is led by senior All-American and OAC Co-Player of the Year Ashley Borchers. 
She led the conference with a .408 hitting percentage from her setting position and ranked third in the OAC in assists (993) and assists per set (10.45).

Junior middle hitter Haley Potters was also a First Team All-OAC honoree, freshman McKenna Jordan was named the OAC Freshman of the Year and 26th-year head coach Kate Witte was named the OAC Coach of the Year for the seventh time in her career.

In all, seven Polar Bears earned All-Conference accolades.

Ohio Northern is under the direction of veteran head coach Kate Witte. Now in her 26th year as head coach of the Polar Bear program, Witte has produced an impressive career won-loss record of 664-230 for a winning percentage of .743.

WITTENBERG UNIVERSITY

A year after reaching the NCAA III Championship final, Wittenberg returns to Van Noord Arena for NCAA III Tournament regional play. Under the direction of head coach Paco Labrador, Wittenberg is making its 14th consecutive appearance in the NCAA III Tournament.

The Tigers enter NCAA III Tournament play with an overall record of 21-5. Wittenberg captured the regular season and tournament titles of the North Coast Athletic Conference. 
Freshman Aubrey Cox was named the NCAC Newcomer of the Year and landed a spot on the ALL-NCAC first team along with junior outside hitter Maddie Fischer. Fischer was named the NCAC Tournament MVP. Senior outside Camila Quinones and Karen Wildemann were both All-NCAC Honorable Mention selections.

Now in his 14th year at the helm of the Wittenberg volleyball program, Labrador has fashioned a won-loss record of 427-67 for a sparkling winning percentage of .864.