VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – The Illinois Tech women's volleyball team wrapped up Pool Play at the USCAA National Championships on Saturday with wins over #3 Alfred State (2-0) and #7 Carlow (2-1). After earning the second seed in Pool B with a 3-1 record, the Scarlet Hawks fell to Pool A third seed Rochester College 3-1 in the quarterfinal round, ending the season with a 19-18 overall record.
Scores – Alfred State match
- Set one: Tech 25, Alfred State 21
- Set two: Tech 25, Alfred State 19
How it Happened – Alfred State match
- The Scarlet Hawks built an early 5-3 advantage, but the Pioneers struck quickly with a run of their own to bring the score to 11-8.
- A 5-0 mid-set run, highlighted by Katherine McCutcheon and Alyssa Miner kills, put Tech back ahead for good. The set was decided on an attack error from Alfred State for the 25-21 Tech win.
- In set two, Alfred State scored the first four points and led 8-4. However, the Scarlet Hawks followed with a 7-0 run featuring two Taylor Burton kills to build an 11-8 advantage.
- The Pioneers tied the score back up at 13, but that was as close as the New York school would get for the rest of the match. A late 6-0 Tech run gave the Scarlet Hawks a 22-15 lead. Miner scored the 25th and final point with a kill to give Illinois Tech the win.
Scarlet Hawk Standouts – Alfred State match
- Burton had a dominant match, tallying nine kills, a .467 hitting percentage, and two blocks (one solo, one assisted).
- Newly-named USCAA First Team All-American Irena Grauzinis tallied five kills and led Tech with 10 digs.
- Jelena Vujicic had four kills and a strong .429 hitting percentage.
- Courtney Darling tallied 19 assists.
Stats to Know – Alfred State match
- The Scarlet Hawks outhit Alfred State .271% to .147% despite the kills total being even at 24.
- Tech outdug the Pioneers 29-21.
- There were a total of seven aces (four for Tech, three for Alfred) and nine service errors (four for Tech, five for Alfred) in the match.
Scores – Carlow match
- Set one: Tech 25, Carlow 13
- Set two: Carlow 25, Tech 7
- Set three: Tech 15, Carlow 10
How it Happened – Carlow match
- Illinois Tech was in control for the entire first set. The team never trailed, building a 7-2 early lead and ending the set on an 8-2 run to win 25-13. A service ace by Cassie Hansen earned Tech its 25th point.
- Carlow was dominant in set two, scoring the set's first 10 points. Tech was unable to record a kill until a Courtney Darling point made the score 14-2. The Scarlet Hawks never recovered from the slow start as the Scarlet Hawks fell 25-7.
- The third and final set saw Carlow get the first point, but the Hawks responded with five straight. McCutcheon, Miner, and Grauzinis all had kills in the first five points.
- Carlow was able to get back to within two at 5-3 and then at 10-8, but a 4-0 run by the Scarlet Hawks pushed the team ahead. Three of the four points on the run came courtesy of Vujicic, who also closed out the match with another kill.
Scarlet Hawk Standouts – Carlow match
- Vujicic had one of her best matches of the season, tallying nine kills and an impressive .692 hitting percentage.
- Darling had 18 assists and 11 digs, leading the Scarlet Hawks in both categories.
- Reya Green also had double-digit digs with 10.
Stats to Know – Carlow match
- The Scarlet Hawks won the kills tally 23-21, but were outhit .139% to .137%.
- Tech outdug Carlow 34-31.
- Tech hit over .200% in the first (.290%) and third (.227%) sets.
Scores – Rochester match
- First set: Tech 25, RC 15
- Second set: RC 25, Tech 18
- Third set: RC 25, Tech 14
- Fourth set: RC 25, Tech 17
How it Happened – Rochester match
- The first set was all Illinois Tech. The Scarlet Hawks outhit Rochester .464% to .000%, closing the set on an 8-0 run.
- In the second set, things were tightly contested, as no team led by more than three in the early going. With the score tied at 13, Rochester took control with a 4-0 run. The Scarlet Hawks would not get closer than two points for the rest of the set, falling 25-18.
- In set three, Illinois Tech once again kept things close early on before the Warriors managed to pull away. A 6-1 run after the score was tied at 6-6 was the difference, as Rochester won comfortably 25-14.
- The fourth and final set was controlled by Rochester early, building a 7-1 advantage. The Scarlet Hawks would not go down quietly, keeping the Warriors within striking distance throughout. With Tech down four at 19-15, Rochester closed the match out on a 6-2 run to earn the win.
Scarlet Hawk Standouts – Rochester match
- Grauzinis closed out the season with a 14-kill, 10-dig performance. She ends the year with 504 kills, marking the second time in school history a student-athlete tallied over 500 kills in a season.
- Burton wrapped up her strong tournament by tallying 11 kills and leading the Scarlet Hawks with five blocks (all solo).
- Miner tallied nine kills.
- Darling ended the match with 40 assists and 12 digs.
- Green led Tech with 21 digs. Courtney Curcio also reached double-digits with 10.
Stats to Know – Rochester match
- The Scarlet Hawks were outhit .173% to .083% despite leading 46-41 in the kills department.
- Tech outdug the Warriors 68-59.
- Rochester led in both aces (6-2) and blocks (15-6).