Point Park Seniors Notch 100th Career Win, Pioneers place 2nd at UMD Early Bird
Updated on Aug. 25, 2012 at 10:30 p.m. ET
Point Park's senior defensive players celebrate a point in 2011. Photo by Evan Skowvron.
DEARBORN, Mich. -- The Point Park University volleyball seniors notched the 100th win of their careers on Saturday, and the Pioneers finished tied for second place at the Michigan-Dearborn Early Bird Challenge with a record of 3-1 on the opening weekend of the season.
Point Park (3-1) opened Day 2 of the event with a 3-1 win over Indiana Tech, and that gave the Pioneers' senior class the 100th win of their careers. Point Park has eight seniors on the roster, five of which have been around for a 100-25 (.800) record since 2009.
Point Park finished the day with a 3-1 loss to NAIA No. 16 Madonna (Mich.), but the 3-1 showing on the opening-weekend was still enough to place in a five-way tie for second place at the challenging event. The 19-team tournament drew some of the top teams in the NAIA, especially from the midwest.
The win over Indiana Tech, which avenged a loss in the NAIA National Championship Opening Round on Nov. 19, 2011, went the Pioneers' way by scores of 24-26, 25-15, 25-15, 25-14. After dropping the close first set, Point Park asserted control the rest of the way. Indiana Tech, like Point Park, is in the 'others receiving votes' section of the NAIA Preseason Top 25 Poll.
Point Park's five seniors who have been a part of the 100 wins since 2009 are Amanda Ardinger (DS), Margaret Gillooly (DS), Alyssa Hall (DS), Lindsey Oberacker (OH) and Amanda Wenger (OH).
In the final match of the weekend, Point Park got off to a great start by taking the first set from No. 16 Madonna, 25-19. But Madonna won a hard-fought second set, 27-25, and kept the momentum going in jumping out to a 12-6 lead early in the third set. The Crusaders (5-1) went on to close out the third set, 25-17 and took the match with a 25-20 win in the fourth.
Like Point Park, Madonna also went 3-1 on the weekend to tie for second. Indiana East went 4-0 along with St. Francis (IL). Indiana East, ranked No. 25 in the NAIA, was deemed the champion by virtue of losing fewer sets.
Point Park senior outside hitter Lindsey Oberacker was named the the all-tournament team. She had 12 kills and 16 digs in the loss to Madonna. Setter Tayler Pugliese had 28 assists and 10 digs in the match, and Alyssa Hall and Amanda Ardinger added 21 and 18 digs, respectively.
Point Park put up a good blocking effort versus Madonna as Keaton Sausman had seven, and Livia Caluori and Oberacker had four each. Madonna committed 30 attack errors and seven service errors but was able to get the win because its defense held Point Park to a .177 hitting percentage.
In the win over Indiana Tech, Oberacker had a big match with 10 kills, 19 digs and three blocks. Caluori, a 6-3 middle hitter who played for the Swiss National Team the last three years, added nine kills and 12 blocks. Hall added 23 digs, and Gillooly totaled 22.
Point Park will be in action on Wednesday (Aug. 29) for an intrasquad match at 9 p.m. in the Student Center Gym. That match is part of the Student Athlete Fest, a celebration of Point Park athletics for the student body. It is one of the many activities being planned for Welcome Week.
For complete results from the entire Early Bird Challenge visit this link: TOURNEY RESULTS
Point Park's weekend at the Early Bird Challenge included three matches versus the top 27 teams in the country. The Pioneers beat No. 22 Cornerstone (MI) and RV (No. 27) Indiana Tech. Point Park got a solid win over Trinity International (IL) and dropped a 3-1 decision to No. 16 Madonna (Mich.).
Next weekend (Aug. 31-Sept. 1), Point Park will visit the Fairmont State Falcon Fest for four matches versus NCAA Division II opponents. The Pioneers are 38-9 versus NCAA DII competition since 2009.