V-Hawks make it ‘a season to remember’

By Danielle Templin

Sports Editor

On Nov. 14, head coach Ryan Delong made a statement as he addressed a pep rally held in honor of the women’s volleyball and soccer teams. At the end of his speech, he concluded the Viterbo University volleyball team would have “a season to remember,” and did they ever.

The lady V-Hawks’ run at a national title ended in the round of the Elite-8 when they were defeated by the third seed Columbia College, 3-1. The Elite-8 appearance is the second ever in school history, as the 1999 V-Hawk men’s basketball team also advanced to the same level in the NAIA division II National Tournament.

The loss marked the final game for five seniors who truly shaped the history of V-Hawk volleyball for years to come. Seniors Katie Flock, Jordan Blaken, Hannah Ripp, Stacie Hoffman and Kassie McGettigan led the team all season for the V-Hawks.

In the loss to Columbia College, the V-Hawks were led by the Midwest Collegiate Conference Player of the Year, Sophomore outside hitter Alicia Olson, who had 16 kills for the V-Hawks. Senior Katie Flock contributed 12 kills for the V-Hawk offense while Stacie Hoffman ended the game with 35 assists.

Defensively, the V-Hawks were led by MCC Libero of the Year Jordan Blaken, who had 25 digs for the match.

Before the loss to Columbia in the first match of the single elimination round, Viterbo swept Georgetown College 3-0 (25-21, 25-16, 25-22).

In the match, Blaken continued to lead the V-Hawk defense, as she finished with 23 digs, giving her the school’s all time digs record. Along with Blaken, senior setter Stacie Hoffman produced a game-high 30 assists and 13 digs.

On the last day of pool play, the lady V-Hawks finished with a come-from-behind 3-2 victory over No. 20 Cal State San Marcos, sweeping their pool.

Once again, the tandem of outside hitters Alicia Olson and Katie Flock led the V-Hawks. Together the two combined for 35 of the 56 V-Hawk kills. Seniors Hannah Ripp and Kassie McGettigan battled at the net as they each had a solo block and assisted on 18.

Libero Jordan Blaken continued to lead the defense, as she had 26 digs. Flock also contributed on defense as she finished with a double-double for the match, adding 10 digs for the V-Hawks.

The second game of pool play featured another lady V-Hawk victory against an additional top 10 team, No. 6 The Master’s College. The 3-1 win gave Viterbo their highest win against a ranked opponent in school history.

Offensively, Katie Flock, who contributed 19 kills and 20 digs for the match, led the V-Hawks. With the 20 digs, Flock became the third player in school history to have 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs in a career.

Setter Stacie Hoffman had 45 assists for the match, while Blaken led the defense with 24 digs.

In their first match of pool play, the V-Hawks knocked off No. 7 Indiana Wesleyan University, 3-1. The upset win for the lady V-Hawks was led by Olson who had a match high 22 kills, while Flock added 14 kills and 22 digs.

Hoffman continued to quarterback the V-Hawk offense as she produced a game high 50 assists, breaking the single season assists record. Along with breaking the single season record, Hoffman also broke the school’s all time assists record.

In the opening round of the 2012 NAIA National Tournament, the Viterbo volleyball team knocked off Davenport University on Nov. 17, allowing them to advance to the pool play round in Sioux City, Iowa.

The V-Hawks swept the Panthers in three straight sets in the Varsity Athletic Complex.

Offensively, Alicia Olson who had 15 kills, led the V-Hawks. Hoffman broke the all-time school record for career assists with 33 for the match.

Defensively, the V-Hawks were led by Jordan Blaken, who led the team with 19 out of the team’s 67 digs, while producing no receiving errors.

Without a doubt, the Viterbo volleyball team had “a season to remember,” setting various school records as well as individual records. On their tournament run, they knocked off three nationally ranked teams, including two in the top 10 on their way to their first ever Elite-8 appearance.

Led all season long by a strong senior class, the V-Hawks have imprinted their name in Viterbo University athletic history.

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