Top-seed Fresno Pacific falls to second-seed Shorter in NCCAA I National Semifinals
Courtesy FPU Sports Information
KISSIMMEE, Fla. - Top-seed Fresno Pacific saw its season come to an abrupt end on Saturday morning, Dec. 1, after running into talented second-seed Shorter in the NCCAA Division I Women's Volleyball National Semifinals.
The Sunbirds were beaten 3-2 (25-23, 12-25, 25-20, 10-25, 15-10) in an exciting five sets.
Although the Sunbirds would dominate sets two and four and outscore Shorter by 16 in total points for the match, the Hawks countered with an exceptional defense that seemed to dig every ball, refusing to allow FPU's hitters to control the match the way they normally do.
"This match was all about momentum," Head Coach Kelly Winter said. "It was so close and one or two little things could have been the difference. We definitely could have cleaned things up and played a little better, but I'm so proud of the girls' effort and what they put out there."
The tournament took its toll on all of the teams.
"This was an exhausting tournament and you could tell we were tired," Winter said. "We just kept saying 'commit to this' and they did. They fully committed and put everything into it. We didn't come out on top, but Shorter played amazing, you've got to hand it to them. Their libero was outstanding, their outside hitter #2 was had a great match. They did a really nice of staying in the play and just kept coming back at us."
Rupia Inck finished with 20 kills for the Sunbirds. Erica Adachi had 28 assists, Hannah Butler had 30 digs and Kathleen Anderson led the team with six blocks.
The Sunbirds end their season with a record of 28-4. It was the final match for three Sunbird seniors who have been instrumental to the program: Emily Carroll, Erica Adachi and Kailey Allen.
"Emily, Erica and Kailey have meant so much to the program and we are really going to miss them," Winter said. "Not only what they did on the court, but off the court. Their leadership was outstanding. Those are big shoes to fill and we've got some recruiting to do. We've got a young group coming up, they're going to learn from this and be a lot better for it."