For the second straight year the West Texas A&M volleyball team is headed back to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight after knocking off the nation’s No. 1-team in MSU Denver in sweeping (25-16, 25-21, 29-27) fashion in the South Central Regional championship on Saturday night on the Roadrunners home court.
This is the 15th regional title in program history for the Lady Buffs and the second straight under fourth year head coach Kendra Potts. WT has been on a season long roll winning 23 straight matches improving to an incredible 30-4 overall.
With that said, the road to the Elite Eight wasn’t easy especially in the regional over the weekend. After sweeping UT Tyler on Thursday, the Lady Buffs had to fight for their lives to escape an upset bid from Colorado Mines, as WT was able to hold in a thrilling five-set victory on Friday, 15-25, 26-24, 25-24, 24-26, 15-13. WT was able to regroup and play its best volleyball at the right time Saturday night to get the sweep of the No. 1-ranked MSU Denver.
“I’m so incredibly proud of this team,” Potts said. “I keep replaying moments from the match and I just keep seeing every single player being focused and determined yet having the time of their life. This team brings so much joy to the game and I’m grateful I have the best seat in the house to watch them do their thing.”
WT outhit MSU Denver .336-.207 with 49 kills on 107 attempts with 13 errors while the Roadrunners collected 43 kills on 116 swings and 19 errors.
Two Lady Buffs reached double-figure kills with Torrey Miller (14) and Abi Nash (13) while Nash hit for an outstanding .600 to go along with a match-high 13 digs for the double-double. Sophomore Blair Moreland paced the regional champions with 21 assists while Miller and Hereford graduate Taytum Stow each had three blocks at the net.
The NCAA Division II Elite Eight begins with quarterfinal play set for Dec. 1-3 in Seattle, Wash.
South Central Regional All-Tournament Team
Savannah Spitzer, Colorado Mesa
Rose Stuewe, Colorado School of Mines
Sabrina VanDeList, Colorado Mesa
Drew Stokes, Colorado School of Mines
Amela Qershia, MSU Denver
Camy Jones, West Texas A&M
Ashlyn Cianciulli, MSU Denver
Abi Nash, West Texas A&M
Rylee Hladky, MSU Denver
Kayla Elliott, West Texas A&M
Riley Anderson, MSU Denver
Torrey Miller, West Texas A&M
The No. 9 Lady Buffs of West Texas A&M punched their ticket to the NCAA Division II Volleyball Elite Eight for the second consecutive season after defeating the nation’s top ranked team MSU Denver in straight sets on Saturday night to capture the program’s 15th regional title. WT will advance to the national quarterfinals set for Dec. 1-3 in Seattle, Wash., while the No. 1 Roadrunners’ season comes to an end with an overall 30-2 record.