Nov. 23, 2014
INDIANAPOLIS, IND. - The Pioneers closed out Summit League play by earning the first title in DU volleyball history over host and number 2 seed, IUPUI Jaguars on Sunday afternoon. Denver swept the Jags 32-30, 25-19, and 26-24 in an intense, crowded atmosphere. With this incredible victory, the Pioneers have qualified for the NCAA tournament along with University of Northern Colorado, University of Colorado and Colorado State University.
The University of Denver Pioneers and IUPUI Jaguars battled back and forth within the first set, right up until the final two points at which time Denver took the game with a kill by sophomore Ruth Okoye, sealed by a block by Okoye and junior Sarah Schmid. Denver seemed to glide to victory in the second set with multiple five and four point runs over the Jags.
In the third set, however, the Pioneers started off in a bit of a struggle. They trailed for much of the game, but Denver fought harder than ever to come back up toward the end and lifted themselves from a four point deficit to win the full match.
"I couldn't be prouder of my team," head coach Jesse Mahoney told a Summit League reporter after the match. "When we pass, we like to mix it up and Bailey set a good tempo as always. She's fantastic. We struggled to pass for large portions of the match, but when we did she was running offense fast. Hitters were firing away."
Sophomore Nola Basey led the team with ten kills at a .189 hitting percentage. Other stat leaders for the Crimson and Gold included senior Bailey Karst with 41 assists, freshman Cassidy Rooke with two service aces, senior Kate Acker with 23 digs and senior Erica Denney and Ruth Okoye with three blocks apiece.
Additionally, three Pioneers were selected to the All-Tournament Team, including: Kate Acker, Bailey Karst (MVP), and Sarah Schmid.
The Pioneers will go on to face Northern Colorado November 29 in Greeley, Colorado at 12:00 p.m. MT.
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