Point Park drops five-setter to #19 IU East in KIAC showdown, sweeps Brescia
Sept. 22, 2012 at 10:05 p.m. ET
Nicole Wurstle (3) had 18 kills and five blocks in the KIAC showdown with #19 IU East. Photo by Evan Skowvron.
RICHMOND, Ind. -- In what was a slugfest with the teams trading punches throughout, NAIA No. 19 Indiana East outlasted visiting Point Park University, 3-2, in a Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference volleyball match on Saturday.
In a matchup of the top two teams in the KIAC, No. 19 Indiana East (20-0, 4-0 KIAC) took control in the fifth set to win a back-and-forth match over Point Park (14-3, 4-1 KIAC) by scores of 25-18, 21-25, 14-25, 25-17, 15-10.
Point Park, which is in the 'others receiving votes section' of the NAIA Top 25 Poll at No. 31 overall, had beaten Brescia (Ky.) (0-10, 0-4 KIAC) by a score of 3-0 in a KIAC match earlier in the day. Point Park rolled to victory in that one with a .389 team attacking percentage as the match went the Pioneers way, 25-10, 25-22, 25-4.
With Saturday's loss, Point Park's three losses have now come to No. 18 Madonna (16-4), No. 19 IU East (20-0) and RV Northwestern Ohio (19-1). Those teams are a combined 55-5.
The win over Brescia (Ky.) was career win No. 299 for Point Park's eighth-year head coach Mike Bruno. The Pioneers can make him the 18th active coach in NAIA volleyball with at least 300 career wins Thursday night at Ursuline (7 p.m.). The match at Ursuline will have live coverage here: LIVE STATS, LIVE AUDIO
The slugfest with Indiana East featured four players on each team with double-digit kills. Achieving that feat for Point Park were Nicole Wurstle (18 kills), Livia Caluori (16 kills), Lindsey Oberacker (11 kills) and Chelsea Katkich (11 kills).
Oberacker added a team-high 15 digs while Margaret Gillooly and Alyssa Hall totaled 14 and 12 digs, respectively. Up front, Keaton Sausman led the Pioneers with eight blocks. Wurstle chipped in five blocks and Caluori four blocks. Setter Tayler Pugliese posted a season-high 56 assists to go along with six digs and three blocks.
Indiana East, the defending KIAC champions and a national tournament participant a year ago like Point Park, had similar production to the Pioneers. Caitlin Burroughs and Breezy Strete had 16 kills each, and Sarah Shilling added 14 kills and 11 digs. Mallory Livingston gave the Red Wolves four players with double-digit kills with 11.
Red Wolves setter Lauren Crump had 57 assists and 13 digs. Kristin Waechter had 14 digs, and Allison Gutierrez 13.
Point Park had a very easy time with winless Brescia, and liberal subbing in the second set was the only thing that made the match even remotely close at that point.
Oberacker had a team-high 13 kills with a .500 hitting percentage. Caluori and Katkich each had six kills in six swings for a percentage of 1.000. Ashley Campbell added five kills. Defensively, Gillooly paced the Pioneers with nine digs, and Hall had eight. Amanda Ardinger picked up four service aces.
Pugliese's 28 total assists set up an offense that was blistering the first and third sets. Point Park had 12 kills and two errors in 22 attempts in the opening frame for a percentage of .455. The Pioneers had 16 kills and zero errors in 22 attacks in the third set for an amazing .762 percentage.
The Point Park defense held Brescia to -0.095 hitting and just 15 total kills.
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