Texas Lutheran nearly upset the No. 1 Division III volleyball team in the nation, Colorado College, in the SCAC semifinals last weekend, but the Bulldogs ultimately finished fourth in tournament play.
(Kerrville) – The Texas Lutheran volleyball team opened the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament in Kerrville with a 3-1 win over Austin College on Friday, but came up short in its upset bid against No. 1 Colorado College 3-2 later that day and dropped the fourth-place match to Southwester 3-0 on Saturday.
In the first-round win over Austin College, the Bulldogs bounced back from a 25-23 loss in the first set to win the next three, 25-23, 25, 23, 25-20. The 'Roos claimed the first set in a point for point battle. TLU rallied and came out strong taking the next three sets.
TLU hit .246 for the match with 63 kills and 21 errors in 171 attempts.
Bryten Mitchan, TLU's sophomore rightside hitter, led the attack with 18 kills for a career-high .342 hitting percentage. Makenzie Griffin and Hannah Mikelonis added 11 kills, respectively.
Jaci Chambers and Mathis Popelsky held strong in the back row, picking up 24 and 17 digs, respectively. Freshmen setter Kelly Jurden registered 32 assists, and Kionasina Nu'u added 20 assists.
In the semifinal contest, No. 1 Colorado College prevailed in the back-and-forth action in the first two sets, but the Bulldogs stormed sets three and four, sending the match into a fifth game tie-breaker.
Colorado College won 19-25, 23-25, 25-19, 27-25, 8-15 behind 25 kills from Jordan Mullen and 17 kills from Aria Dudley. SCAC Player of the Year, Lizzie Counts, dished out 63 assists.
Griffin posted a career-high 20 kills with only 6 errors to go along with nine digs and a solo block for the Bulldogs. Mitchan tallied 14 kills, while Christie Cosper and Mikelonis contributed 10 kills, respectively. Jurden, Chambers and Cailey Young each registered serving aces for TLU.
In TLU’s final match of the season, Southwestern won 25-16, 25-18, 25-15 to take third place in the tournament with 11 kills from Jamison Duck and eight kills each for Kate Mitchell and Brittany Holt. Megan Grimes posted 33 assists for the Pirates.
The Bulldogs came in fourth, finishing with an overall record of 17-17.
Leading TLU in kills was Bryten Mitchan with 12. Hannah Mikelonis added seven kills.
Jaci Chambers led the Bulldogs with 13 digs, and Kelly Jurden delivered 17 assists.