Lincoln Plews

Senior Sports Writer


After finishing the regular season with a record of 18-14 (4-4 in conference), the volleyball team took the fifth seed into the NCAC tournament on the Wittenberg University campus in Springfield, Ohio this past weekend.

The Scots faced their first opponent, the fourth seeded Denison Big Red, in a rematch of a regular season game that Wooster lost 3-1. The Scots brought their A-game for the tournament, however, and this time around was able to topple Denison 3-1 to advance to the semifinals.

The opening set was tightly contested, with Wooster finally pulling out an important 30-28 victory to go up 1-0. Denison came out swinging in the second set, however, racing out to a quick lead and hanging on to tie the series at 1-1. Wooster casually responded by taking the next two sets 25-21 and 25-18 to win the series 3-1.

Paige Parker ’14 played particularly well in the game, recording 17 kill shots. For her part, Zoe Zwegat ’14 turned in a strong defensive performance with two solo blocks and three block assists.

“We were all focused on one common goal and did an awesome job of communicating,” said Zwegat. “We had also lost to Denison in a really close game the last time we played them, which fueled more of a desire for revenge.”

Wooster faced the nationally third-ranked Wittenberg Tigers (22-4) in the semifinals.  The Scots fought valiantly, but fell in three straight sets by scores of 20-25, 16-25 and 18-25. Wittenberg would go on to retain their NCAC title with a 3-0 win over DePauw in the finals.

In the third-place game, Wooster faced another very strong program in the Hiram Terriers (26-8). Hiram won the match, but the game was much more highly contested than the 3-0 score would imply.

The Terriers took the first set 25-20, but the Scots responded in the second set by gaining a 24-20 lead. But Wooster could not close out the game, and Hiram rallied to win 27-25 and go up 2-0. The Scots followed a similar pattern in the third set, racing out to a 20-16 lead before stalling and ultimately losing 25-22 to go down 3-0 and settle for fourth place in the North Coast Athletic Conference.

“Wittenberg and Hiram are always solid teams,” said Zwegat of the losses. “I think we did a great job of challenging them throughout the match, but just could not come up with the win.”

Also announced this week was the selection of Kelley Johnson ’13 and Paige Parker ’14 to the All-NCAC team. It was Johnson’s third time receiving the honor, in addition to being named Libero of the Year. She led the conference in digs this season with 728, and ranks fifth in the nation with 6.12 digs per set. Parker, who ranks second in the conference in kills (3.43 per set), earned the award for the first time.

With the conclusion of the season, the Scots now look forward to developing a relatively young team going into next year. New players must step up to fill the gaps left by departing seniors Johnson, Devin Grandi and Melissa Morgan.