Point Park falls in KIAC Volleyball Tournament Semifinals versus Asbury (Ky.)
Nov. 16, 2013 at 9:25 p.m. ET
Nicole Wurstle ended her career with 1,022 career kills after the playoff lost to Asbury (Ky.). Photo by Evan Schall.
By Zachary Weiss, Point Park Athletic Communications Student Assistant
MIDWAY, Ky. -- The Point Park University volleyball team saw its season come to an end with a 3-1 loss Saturday against No. 1 seed Asbury (Ky.) in the semifinals of the KIAC Tournament at Midway (Ky.) College.
No. 5 seed Point Park [21-19] was led by right side hitter Nicole Wurstle’s 10 kills and Olivia Fisher’s 10 kills and 10 digs. Setter Cara Bradley had 36 assists while libero Shiloh Simonson had 12 digs.
Finishing the season at 21-19 overall including wins over No. 12 seed Alice Lloyd (Ky.) and No. 4 seed Indiana Kokomo on Friday gives the Pioneers five straight 20-win seasons.
In the first set in the semifinal matchup with Asbury, the score went back and forth, however Point Park came out on top 26-24. The Pioneers had a small advantage to start the set, however, Asbury [25-11] took a three point lead that was erased.
In the second set, Point Park trailed 10-6 early on and 16-11 just past the halfway point. The Pioneers tried to come back, however, the deficit was too much to overcome, and the match was tied after a 25-18 set win.
Point Park lost the first eight points of the third set. The Asbury lead grew to 19-6, and even though the Pioneers won a few points late, 25-11 was as close as they got as Asbury took control of the match, 2-1.
The fourth set resembled the first given the back and forth nature. Asbury was able to take a 22-18 lead and won the match with a 25-19 score in the fourth.
Asbury went on to win its 26th match of the season and 19th straight with a 3-0 victory in the KIAC Finals over No. 3 seed Indiana University Southeast later in the day.
Even before its KIAC Tournament title, Asbury already had an automatic bid to the NAIA national tournament by being the KIAC regular season champion. Since the Eagles went on to win the conference tournament as well, the KIAC’s other NAIA bid will go to Indiana University East since it was the KIAC regular season runner-up.
Point Park’s loss means that seniors Nicole Wurstle and Chelsea Katkich played their final games as Pioneers. In their careers, Wurstle and Katkich combined for 1,769 kills and played in 932 games over the course of 283 matches.
Wurstle was named to the All-KIAC First team with the announcement of the all-conference awards during the weekend tournament. The 6-1 right-side hitter from Valley City, Ohio, is one of only three players in the history of Point Park volleyball with more than 1,000 career kills. She had a combined 29 kills in the three KIAC Tournament matches to end her career with 1,022 career kills.
Katkich was limited this year due to injury, but the 6-0 outside hitter from Imperial, Pa., ended up with 747 career kills over four years. She was Point Park’s active leader in career kills at the start of the year but a foot injury prevented her from playing on the attack as she was relegated to just serving.
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