VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – The Illinois Tech women's volleyball team competed in two best-of-three matches on Saturday at the USCAA National Championships. The sixth-seeded Scarlet Hawks defeated #10 NHTI 2-0 before falling against #2 Florida College 2-0.
Scores – NHTI Match
- Set one: Tech 25, NHTI 14
- Set two: Tech 25, NHTI 20
How it Happened – NHTI match
- After trailing 3-1 early, the Scarlet Hawks found a second gear. Tech went on an 8-0 highlighted by three Irena Grauzinis kills and three Courtney Curcio services aces to build a 9-3 lead.
- After an NHTI point, the Scarlet Hawks went on another run, this time 7-0. With now a 16-4 advantage, Tech comfortably held strong the rest of the way, winning 25-14 on another Grauzinis kill.
- In the second set, the Scarlet Hawks went up 8-3 behind kills from three different players and some NHTI attack errors. The lead later increased to 14-5 on a Katherine McCutcheon kill.
- NHTI would not give up without a fight, going on a 12-3 run to tie the score at 18-18. With the score tied at 20-20, two NHTI attack errors and a Jelena Vujicic kill would put Tech ahead for good. A McCutcheon kill for the 25th point gave Tech a 25-21 win.
Scarlet Hawk Standouts – NHTI match
- Grauzinis continued her impressive season with seven kills and a .583 hitting percentage. She also tied for the team lead in digs with four.
- Vujicic (.429%), Taylor Burton (.250%), and McCutcheon (.125%) each added four kills.
- Courtney Darling led the way with 18 assists while also contributing two service aces.
- Courtney Curcio led the team in aces (three) and tied for the lead in digs (four).
Stats to Know – NHTI match
- The Scarlet Hawks outhit NHTI .260% to .073% while winning the kills tally 22-14.
- Tech had six aces compared to NHTI's four.
- Tech's 22 assists outdid NHTI's 14.
Scores – Florida College match
- Set one: Florida College 25, Tech 23
- Set two: Florida College 25, Tech 10
How it Happened – Florida College match
- The Scarlet Hawks built an early advantage in the first set, leading by as many as three and as late as 14-11. Alyssa Miner totaled three kills early on in the set.
- However, the Falcons of Florida College would respond, rattling off five straight points to take a 16-14 lead. Tech would fight back to tie the score at 23, but two errors to close things out resulted in the Falcon win.
- In set two, the teams traded the first six points. After the 3-3 tie, Florida College went on a 6-1 run to build a 9-4 advantage.
- A 7-0 run to build a 16-5 lead would give the Falcons a comfortable lead, which the team used to cruise to a 25-10 set two and match win.
Scarlet Hawk Standouts – Florida College match
- Burton led the Scarlet Hawks with six kills while also tallying two block assists.
- Grauzinis and Miner each tallied five kills.
- Darling added 12 assists.
- McCutcheon led the team with three blocks.
- Reya Green led Tech with 13 digs.
Stats to Know – Florida College match
- Tech was outhit .353% to .155% by Florida College, including a large .462% to .031% disparity in the second set.
- The Falcons had 34 digs compared to Tech's 25.
- The Scarlet Hawks had just one service ace in the match (Cassie Hansen). FC tallied six.
- The Scarlet Hawks will play two more matches in pool play on Friday, taking on #3 Alfred State College at 10:00 a.m. ET (9:00 a.m. CT) before opposing #7 Carlow University at 1:00 p.m. ET (12:00 p.m. CT). If the Scarlet Hawks are one of the top four teams in Pool B, Tech will play a five-set quarterfinal match at either 4:00 p.m. ET or 5:30 p.m. ET. Live stats and video links courtesy of the USCAA are scheduled to be available.
- Tonight is also the USCAA All-American/All-Academic Banquet. Announcements of these awards will be available on www.illinoistechathletics.com tonight.